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Mabalacat territory

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Over a week ago, a team sent by Bamban Mayor Leonardo Anunciacion to Barangay Calumpang insisted that quarry operators should stop operating in the area, which ironically located in the jurisdiction of Mabalacat town.

The alarmed Calumpang village chief showed them the map indicating that the contested area in Mascup, in the former picnic grounds of Sitio Burak – is within the territorial jurisdiction of Mabalacat town. Barangay Calumpang is established in 1950 and since then its residents had been voting in Mabalacat town not Bamban. San Vicente, the next barangay after Calumpang is the only village within the jurisdiction of Bamban.

And now comes Anunciacion claiming that Barangay Calumpang belongs to Bamban town. Anunciacion’s claim is being opposed by the local government of Mabalacat particularly the residents of Barangay Calumpang numbering over 1,000 as of this time. Even the Department of Interior and Local Government will testify that Barangay Calumpang’s 800 residents are voting in Mabalacat and therefore the village formed part of the first-class town now eyeing cityhood status.

A few days ago, the Tarlac provincial government sent a similar Task Force to check on Calumpang. Again, the village chief told the group that "Calumpang is part of Mabalacat within the jurisdiction of Pampanga province." They were shown the similar map delineating the areas of Pampanga and Tarlac. "Pampanga poi to," says the village chief. The Tarlac Task Force did not ask for the removal of quarry operators in the area, according to him.

Some 3,325 hectares of the former Sacobia Development Authority’s 5,745-hectare is well within the territorial jurisdiction of Mabalacat town. The rest around 2,419 hectares is in the area of Bamban, Tarlac.

Thus the boundaries between Pampanga and Tarlac had been clearly defined and that the local government of Bamban has no right to encroach into the territory of Mabalacat. Prior to the approval of Resolution No. 42-A, Series of 1996, the Mabalacat Council made it clear "that there shall be a retention of the integrity of the territorial jurisdiction of the LGU over annexed lands, i.e., Barangay Calumpang or some 3,325 hectares per DENR records be under the territorial jurisdiction of the Municipality of Mabalacat."

The resolution also states that "the rights, interests and welfare of affected farmers inside Clark Field and Sacobia be protected and assured of gainful employment as farmers; that residents of Mabalacat be given preference by the CDC in the employment of workers at Mabalacat portion of Sacobia and that the CDC and LGU (Mabalacat) come up with a 70-30 sharing scheme on development gains or earnings."

Bamban’s Anunciacion can enjoy the sceneries at the rolling hills of Sacobia but he could just not tell the people of Calumpang to vote in Bamban, Tarlac. Calumpang is part of Mabalacat town for the past 58 years, and no one could simply take away the village and its people.

Meanwhile, Mabalacat Mayor Marino "Boking" Morales tells newly-installed Clark Development Corporation President Benny Ricafort that he will support the plan to have Sacobia as the "next frontier." "Kami po ay hindi makakagulo at makakatulong po kami," said Morales.

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