Projects, to Obliterate Aeta Race 

Aeta Tribes currently live on the mountain range in Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, and Tarlac. Various tribal elders reveal that they once lived in the plains: The men were hunters that provided meat for the family; while the women worked on farms, took care of the kids,and cooked the meat from the hunt.

The Aetas lived peacefully; nature provided all of their needs –from clothing, shelter, up to their daily necessities. Colonizers tried to steal their ancestral lands but none was successful. Unfortunately, because of the widespread dominion of our colonizers, the Aetas have been gradually pushed from the plains to the mountains ranges. Since then, Aeta Tribes continued to struggle because of their displacement from their initial location.

In today’s time, Indigenous people continue to suffer from the imminent plunder of their ancestral domains; and the constant threat of displacement; and worse, the obliteration of their entire history, culture, and race. The struggle for the right to self-determination and land rights continue to grow. Their lands are good expedient of natural and mineral resources, which make companies want to steal their lands.

For the Aetas in Central Luzon, thousands of tribes face eviction as mega-projects of the government pursue. This include New Clark City, Balog-Balog Multipurpose Dam, Crow Valley Military Complex, Aboitiz Geothermal Powerplant, Megalopolis, the continuous quarry, and mining operations. These projects not only displace the culture, livelihood, and lands of the indigenous, it also destroys our environment which worsens global warming.

A few weeks ago, agents of Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) promised the Aeta a share of the undistributed “Marcos wealth”. This will be distributed to indigenous people, but to avail such, an Aeta family has to submit a printed family picture and their cedula. In the Philippines, a cedula can be a valid ID in a notarized agreement. If one wanted to really help the Aeta, why require such conditions? Due to worsening poverty and crises, one cannot blame if an Aeta family oblige to the sine qua non. But similar to a carrot in a donkey’s nose, the quest is of no avail.

Their right to their ancestral lands is being exploited. Sadly, most if not all, are state-sponsored land grabbing. The very people who should have protected their rights are those that nonchalantly violates it.

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