First Aeta to pass Criminology Board Exam to fulfill dream of becoming a cop | Inquirer News

First Aeta to pass Criminology Board Exam to fulfill dream of becoming a cop

/ 08:09 PM January 24, 2023
Dexter Valenton made quite a bit of local history by becoming the first member of Aeta communities in Pampanga province, and arguably in the entire country, to pass the criminologist licensure exam

Dexter Valenton made quite a bit of local history by becoming the first member of Aeta communities in Pampanga province, and arguably in the entire country, to pass the criminologist licensure exam. His mother Luz stands beside him during his graduation at Celtech College in the City of San Fernando in this photo taken in July 2022. (Photo courtesy of GOV. DENNIS PINEDA’S FACEBOOK PAGE)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—Dexter Santos Valenton, 23, did not only pass the recent Criminology Board Exam but he also became the first known Aeta to pass the state’s criminologist licensure test of the Professional Regulation Commission.

With such a feat, Valenton, a resident of Barangay San Ramon in Floridablanca town, Pampanga, could be the first member of the indigenous community to be part of the police force in the province, Gov. Dennis Pineda said in an interview on Jan. 20

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“I am elated. My only goal was to pass, but I am being praised for bringing honor to the Aeta [community],” Valenton said when the Inquirer interviewed him by phone from a hill near their village.

Elizabeth Baybayan, chief of the provincial social welfare and development office, confirmed Valenton’s feat.

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“We have many Aeta who passed the licensure exam for teachers. Dexter was the first to pass the criminology exam,” Baybayan said in a separate interview.

The governor’s congratulatory remarks, which he posted on his Facebook page, went viral as netizens also celebrated Valenton’s success.

‘Full of hardship’

The young Aeta lad said his struggle to get an education was “dakal kasakitan (full of hardship)” because his parents hardly have the money to send nine children to school since “sakadora (traders)” kept farmers in debts.

He said he persisted in finishing elementary and high school by walking for hours to schools, enrolling in college by availing of the provincial government’s scholarship program that supports 8,374 Kapampangan youth, a report released last December showed.

He said the governor, among others, funded his review as well as his board and lodging.

Being a good cop was his dream since he was young.

“Mag-apply ku pu tambing. Sopan ke pu ing pamilya ampo ing tribu (I will apply at once. I will help my family and the tribe).”

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After Mt. Pinatubo’s 1991 eruption, Aeta villages that were previously aloof from the lowlands increased their access to education, healthcare, roads, water and shelter.

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