MANILA, Philippines – Dexter Santos Valenton became an inspiration to many after he was named the first known Aeta to pass the Criminology Board Exam.
|Dexter Santos Valenton is considered the first Aeta to pass the Criminology Board Exam in the country | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Dexter Valenton, Gov. Dennis Pineda|
Valenton is determined to become a police officer after the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) announced in January 2023 that he is among the 11,098 passers out of 33,489 examinees of the December 2022 Criminology Board Exam. He is thought to be the first Aeta community member to pass the said licensure exam.
A member of the Aeta community in Barangay San Ramon in Floridablanca town, Pampanga, Valenton defied all odds to achieve his dream of finishing a college degree. According to Valenton, he grew up in “dakal kasakitan,” or full of hardship. His Aeta parents are farmers who are always in debt and couldn’t afford to send all nine of their children to school.
Growing up, he would walk for hours every day to school until he finished his elementary and high school education. When he reached college, Valenton proved his determination to succeed and became a scholar under the provincial government’s scholarship program. Along with the scholarship grant, the local government also paid for his board and lodging while studying.
In July 2022, he graduated from Central Luzon College of Science and Technology with a BS in Criminology. When he passed the licensure exam, he was greeted by Gov. Dennis Pineda for his achievement. He wrote that as a future policeman, he hopes Valenton will serve his community in Floridablanca.
He stated, “Future policeman. Samahan po ninyo ako na i-congratulate si Dexter Santos Valenton. Siya po ang unang Aeta na pumasa sa board exam para sa mga kumuha ng kursong BS Criminology, ayon po sa record ni Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Elizabeth Baybayan. Isa po si Dexter sa mga successful scholars ng Capitol. Liban po sa scholarship ay may free board and lodging po si Dexter para malapit siya sa Celtech College kung saan nag-graduate siya noong July 2022. Proud ako sa iyong tagumpay Dexter. Sana unahin mo ang serbisyo sa pamilya at mga kapwa katutubo sa Floridablanca.
Valenton’s success as the first Aeta to pass the criminology board exam was confirmed by Elizabeth Baybayan, chief of the provincial social welfare and development office. She said, “We have many Aeta who passed the licensure exam for teachers. Dexter was the first to pass the criminology exam.”
Meanwhile, Valenton admitted feeling surprised by the recognition because his goal was only to pass the board exam.
— Sally, The Summit Express