Southeast Asian Studies
Online ISSN : 2423-8686
Print ISSN : 2186-7275
ISSN-L : 2186-7275
State Recognition or State Appropriation? Land Rights and Land Disputes among the Bugkalot/Ilongot of Northern Luzon, Philippines
Shu-Yuan Yang
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2012 Volume 1 Issue 1 Pages 77-108

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Abstract

The Bugkalot/Ilongot were awarded the Certificate of Ancestral Domain Title(CADT) issued by the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples in a joyful celebration on February 24, 2006. The CADT is a contemporary assertion of indigenous peoples' ability to negotiate claims to land, livelihood, and autonomy within the nation-state. So far, however, the acquisition of the Bugkalot/Ilongot CADT has not made any substantial difference in the everyday lives of the people of Ġingin, a settlement located at the heartland of the Bugkalot area. Not only does the trend of in-migration of lowland settlers and other indigenous groups continue, there are heightening social tensions caused by growing numbers of land-grabbing incidents among the Bugkalot themselves. This issue is examined in the context of state-promoted settlement projects, the advance of capitalism, and the process of commodification,which have given rise to a new notion of exclusive landownership. State provision of land rights and capitalist market forces have combined to shapeland relations in new and often surprising ways. By exposing some of the diverse and changing forms of dispossession, as well as the failure of barangay officials and government agencies in mediating and resolving land disputes, this article questions whether the seemingly novel avenues that the Philippine state has taken to "legitimate"indigenous peoples' rights, in practice, actually extend state control.

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© 2012 Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University
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