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Balance between IP customs and law



CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — After rescuing a 19-year-old Aeta man from “blood debt,” Gov. Dennis Pineda has asked relevant agencies to review existing customary laws of indigenous peoples (IP) and orient them about government laws.

“Though they have their own set of customs and traditions, members of the IP, especially their council of elders, should be oriented about the existing laws of the government through seminars and forums,” Pineda said.

The governor tasked the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) to look into the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act, providing IP the knowledge and awareness needed in securing their rights especially when it comes to their ancestral domain.

“We will also conduct coaching sessions about life and morality to help Aetas balance their customs and beliefs with the laws of the government,” PSWDO Head Elizabeth Baybayan said. She also stated that they will work hand-in-hand with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples for the welfare of the Aetas.

It will be recalled that Pineda intervened in a recent “blood debt” that would have taken the life of 19-year-old Anton Santos last week in at a hilltop cemetery in Porac.

According to the governor, Santos was supposed to give his life as “payment” for his father’s crime of killing a fellow Aeta in 2013 which apparently triggered a clan war with Serrano family.

After hiding for six years, Anton surfaced recently after members of the Serrano family threatened his mother Marissa.