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‘Di sila palamuti! Hontiveros wants Aetas included in New Clark City dev’t

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Aeta communities, and other indigenous people, must not be sacrificed in the name of development.

Senator Risa Hontiveros stressed this on Wednesday as she deplored reports that Aeta families in Capas, Tarlac were evicted from their ancestral land.

“Honoring and cherishing our indigenous cultures and cultural communities should not be merely paid lip-service,” she said.

She called for a probe on the displacement of Aetas and other indigenous communities to give way for the New Clark City (NCC) development project of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA).

In November, an eviction notice was issued to the Aeta families of Barangay Aranguren, in Capas, Tarlac by the BCDA to give way to the construction of a road connecting Clark International Airport to NCC.

She said that 15,000 local farmers and 20,000 Aeta and Abelling indigenous communities are likely to be affected” by the said project under the BCDA.

“We need to ensure that development comes in a way that indigenous people, cultures, and the environment are protected and remain sustainable,” she said.

“Pinagmalaki natin ang mga katutubong kultura sa opening ng SEA Games sa New Clark City pero tinatanggalan naman natin sila ng lupa at kabuhayan,” Hontiveros said.

She added, “Development should not come at the expense of the rights and welfare of indigenous communities and of the environment.”

“Hindi tunay ang pag-unlad kung may paglabag ito sa karapatan ng mga katutubo at ng kalikasan,” Hontiveros said.

She said that indigenous communities in Tarlac is protected by Republic Act No. 8371, or the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA).

However, the BCDA claimed that there are no ancestral domains in the area.

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