Indigenous peoples oppose ‘Clark Green City’

by Divine Marie Endriga

0
3428
An Aeta joins a protest calling for the ouster of President Aquino whom they believe to be orchestrating efforts to evict them from their land to give way to corporate interests | Photo: Dexter Aserdano for Manila Today
An Aeta joins a protest calling for the ouster of President Aquino whom they believe to be orchestrating efforts to evict them from their land to give way to corporate interests | Photo: Dexter Aserdano for Manila Today

Marching from the Capas Cathedral in Capas town of Tarlac province to Tarlac City proper, two hundred indigenous peoples from the Aeta Tribal Association (ATA) joined a multisectoral gathering in remembrance of Martial Law.

“Marcos Noon, Marcos Ngayon! Marcos-Aquino, Walang Pagbabago!”, they shouted in Filipino as they marched. Then as now, the indigenous peoples continue to experience human rights violations and trampling on their right to livelihood and home.

Romy Diaz, a Magantsi (an Aeta tribe common in Pampanga and Tarlac) from Sitio Bulacan, Sta. Juliana, Capas said “Bawal na ang magbaba ng mga kalalakal na pananim, bawal na din ang mag-akyat ng mga gamit sa konstruksyon ng bahay! Papaano ngayon na nasira ng bagyo ang aming mga kubo?” He further adds, “ Itinutulak nila kaming bumaba at manirahan sa patag pero naroroon sa bundok ang aming kabuhayan, ang aming kasaysayan at kultura, at ang aming mga tahanan.”

Photo: Dexter Aserdano for Manila Today
Photo: Dexter Aserdano for Manila Today

Last August 25, the Lower House of Congress approved the construction of Clark Green City a projected economic hub for Central Luzon under the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) which is tasked to transform former US bases and properties into civilian economic centers . The project covers 36, 500 hectares of land encompassing Tarlac, Pampanga, and Zambales. The first phase of Clark Green City will be built on farmland northwest of the developed part of the former base and will begin in 2015.  BCDA is selling out fiscal and non-fiscal incentives including tax exemptions for business enterprises to venture into the Clark Green City.

The Clark Green City project covers 36, 500 hectares of land encompassing  Tarlac, Pampanga, and Zambales provinces. Phase I of the construction will begin in 2015.
The Clark Green City project covers 36, 500 hectares of land encompassing Tarlac, Pampanga, and Zambales provinces. Phase I of the construction will begin in 2015.

ATA spokesperson Jay Merkado explains, “Ang balak nila sa aming mga bundok ay ibenta sa mga dayuhang korporasyon. Sisimulan na nga sa 2015 ang unang yugto ng Clark Green City, isa sa mga priority project ng rehimen ni BS Noynoy Aquino. Itinatayo na sa ngayon ang Capas-Botolan Road, at magsisisunuran ang “development” ng malawakang dislokasyon at pagkawala ng karapatan sa kabuhayan. Pero para kanino ang kaunlarang sinasabi nila? Makikinabang ba kaming mga kaming mga katutubo dyan?

 

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here