First clean ancestral domain title for Aetasawarded
By Ma. ALTHEA TEVES, abs-cbnnews.com/Newsbreak Posted at 05/29/2009 8:44 PM | Updated as of 05/30/2009 4:13 PMPresident Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, together with the National Commission on IndigenousPeoples (NCIP) officials, awarded on May 27 a certificate of ancestral domain title (CADT) benefiting 454 Aeta families in Floridablanca, Pampanga.The CADT No. R03-FLO-1206-057 for the Aetas’ ancestral land came 12 years after theestablishment of the NCIP.The title covers 7,440.10 hectares in San Marcelino and Brgy. Batiawan in Zambales and barangays Mawakat and Nabuklod in Floridablanca, Pampanga.“This is the first time clean ancestral domain titles were distributed by the NCIP,” said director Salong Sunggod, NCIP Region 3 director.Sunggod added that all nuisances from the titles have been removed. “Other claims to theancestral domain have been settled already,” he said.Sunggod also said that the 1,423 Aetas who will receive the titles would not face counter-claimsafter these have been issued to them.Aetas are pleased to finally receive the title. “We are very thankful because we have waited solong for this. We are thankful because finally, they gave importance to our title,” said ParhamSantos, an elderly Aeta from Floridablanca.
Security and protection
Aetas find security, protection and legitimate ownership from their newly-acquired land titles.“We feel more secure that we finally have the CADT,” said Carlito Dumulot, chairperson of theBukluran ng mga Katutubo sa Luzon (BUKAL).Dumulot added that they faced a lot of difficulties fighting for their land. “People still want toclaim our land even if we are already here, are entitled, and making good use of it,” he said.Santos said the importance of CADT for the IPs cannot be underestimated. “CADT guarantees protection of our rights to our ancestral domain as mandated by the IP Rights Act,” Dumulotadded.