ANGELES CITY – “No more joint management!”
The Sangguniang Tribung Ayta (STA) ng CADT 025 recently announced they want full management of their 10,600-hectare ancestral land at the Sacobia Area in Clark.
During a recent press conference here, the members of STA ng CADT 025 said they want the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) out of their ancestral domain and asked the latter to stop leasing their lands.
Officials of STA ng CADT 025 present during the press conference are Oscar Dizon, president; Robert Serrano, vice president; Mabalacat City Councilor Ruvienne S. Margarito; and Albert Dela Cruz, legislative secretary.
The Aetas’ ancestral domain covered by Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title (CADT) 025 is located inside the 31,000-hectare Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) that also covers the Green City. This is separate from the 4,000 hectares of Clark that was declared as a Free Port Zone.
CDC currently administers all transactions involving the ancestral domain by virtue of a Joint Management Agreement (JMA) that was signed in 2007 between the CDC, the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP) and the Tribong Ayta then represented by Oscar Rivera, another tribal leader.
Under the JMA, the income sharing between CDC and the Aeta groups shall be 80-20 percent in favor of CDC.
But the Aeta groups claimed that CDC failed to remit any income since the JMA was implemented. They were also allegedly being continuously “ignored and discriminated” by CDC officials, Margarito said during the press conference.
Margarito added that despite the NCIP Region 3’s certification recognizing Dizon, Serrano and four other leaders as representatives of STA ng CADT 025, the CDC officials consistently ignored them.
Margarito also said that since the signing of the JMA in 2006, the CDC has not rendered any report on the income from their ancestral domain and even a list of locators on their property.
In a letter addressed to the CDC board dated June 19, 2017, Dizon and Serrano said that despite their demand for copies of contracts with existing locators inside their ancestral domain, CDC failed to address their concern and more, the latter failed to compute their “share” from the joint venture.
“We shall be fully enforcing all our customary laws and traditions to the fullest extent….we shall immediately take over the management and control of the CADT 025,” Dizon and Serrano further said.
CDC Communications Manager Noel G. Tulabut however said that CDC receives and processes all communications from individuals, groups, or entities, and takes corresponding and appropriate action on legitimate concerns as much as practicable and possible, and the IPs are no exception.
“CDC officials have always kept communication lines open with our brother Aetas. There have been series of meetings and consultations, the latest presided by Mabalacat Mayor Cris Garbo last week where CDC and some Aeta leaders were present. Even CDC Directors pursued discussions and possible resolutions of the long-standing issues and concerns relative to the Ancestral Domain,” Tulabut said.
He added that one of the significant discussions was held on March 09 when CDC Director Frank Villaroman, as chairman of the oversight committee for the sub-zone, also presided over a meeting with tribal leaders, concerned government agencies and CDC officers.
Tulabut also said that in the March 9 meeting, CDC presented before various Aeta groups the incomes generated in the ancestral land, including the share of the Aetas amounting to P14 million.
“In that meeting, CDC expressed its willingness to release the fund to a legitimate, duly recognized Aeta representation based on NCIP rules and regulations as approved by the NCIP Commission en banc,” he said.
“The tripartite agreement is in full force and effect, and may not be unilaterally rescinded by any of the parties,” Tulabut added.
ON ALLEGED GRAFT PRACTICES
Meanwhile, Dela Cruz also accused CDC officials of graft and corruption practices because they allegedly abused their authority to generate income from their ancestral land without the prior consent of the Aetas.
“Kung talagang desidido po ang administrasyon ni President Duterte na tanggalin ang korupsiyun sa gubyerno, dapat ay imbestigahan ang mga opisyales ng CDC,” Dela Cruz said.
According to Dela Cruz, CDC has no right to lease the land and more, without providing income to the Aeta communities.
Dela Cruz also said that CDC has no right to issue quarry permits to quarry operators and CDC has no authority or power to prevent the Aetas from using their land for quarry operations.
But Tulabut said that R.A. 7227 and R.A. 9400 are very explicit as to the authority of CDC to preserve, maintain, and develop the areas within its jurisdiction.
“As the administrator and implementing arm for Clark Special Economic Zone (CSEZ), CDC was given the authority to issue various permits.
EO 80 gave CDC specific powers similar to that of the Export Processing Zone Authority as provided for in Section 4 of PD 66 (Sec 4b and Sec 4g), as amended,” Tulabut said.
He explained that included among the specific powers of CDC as administrator of the CSEZ are “to alter, straighten, obstruct or increase the flow of water in streams or in water channels “(Sec 4b) and “to fix and collect the fees and charges for the issuance of permits, licenses (Sec 4g).”
“The issuance of CADT did not diminish CDC’s function as administrator by virtue of the December 6, 2007 Joint Management Agreement among CDC, NCIP and Tribung Ayta which is morally and legally effective and binding,” Tulabut said.