Aeta group BATA files charges against NCIP

Published January 17, 2019, 6:27 PM

by Dhel Nazario, Jeffrey G. Damicog, and Rey G. Panaligan

By Alexandria San Juan

A leader of the Aeta community has called on the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to look into the case they filed against the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

Bamban Aeta Tribal Association, Inc. (BATA) chairman Oscar Rivera urged the PACC to fast track the resolution of their complaint of alleged corruption against some NCIP officials.

Earlier this month, Rivera has filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office criminal cases against NCIP officials for violation of Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code, or falsification of public documents.

Rivera also filed administrative cases against the Commission for Violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-graft and Corruption Practices Act before the Office of the Ombudsman in December 2018.

The Aeta organization leader alleged that the NCIP is attempting to create another Aeta group which they claimed to be “unlawful, deceitful and with evil and corrupt motives” to make it as a sole representative in the Joint Management Agreement (JMA).

“The legitimate and sole representative based upon the JMA is Tribong Aeta, legally represented by BATA, thru its president Oscar Rivera, and who is the signatory in the agreement executed on December 6, 2007 by and among Clark Development Corporation (CDC), NCIP, and Tribong Aeta,” the complaint read.

In the agreement, the CDC will manage the development of more than 10,000 hectares of Aeta ancestral lands for a period of 50 years under a profit-sharing scheme in which the Aetas get 20 percent while the corporation gets 80 percent of the profit.

“Consequently, based upon the JMA, Tribong Aeta through Rivera, be ordered to receive the P648 million, or at least 20% share of Aetas,” it added.