CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga– — Governor Dennis Pineda asked relevant government agencies to review pre-existing customary laws of the Indigenous Peoples (IPs).
This call came after the case of Anthon Serrano, an IP who was saved from death penalty based on the Aeta customary law.
“Though they have their own set of customs and traditions, members of the IPs, especially their council of elders, should be oriented about the existing laws of the government through seminars and forums,” Pineda said.
He also instructed the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) to review the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act to increase awareness of the IP rights relating 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 added they will coordinate with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) for the schedule of the orientations.
As of January 2019, census from the NCIP shows that at least 5,855 families or 21, 684 Aeta individuals reside in the province. (PIA 3)