HomeAsia-Pacific Social Science Reviewvol. 8 no. 1 (2008)

Ancestral Domain Claim: The Case of the Indigenous People in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

Dennis S. Erasga

Discipline: Social Science



In its broadest level, this study (a) examines the "concept" of ancestral domain and its usage in the Philippines; (b) it situates the discussion within the context of .claims. made by the Philippine IPs and (c) from there, assesses the "concerns" and problems attendant to the ancestral domain claims-making process with special focus on the case of the IPs in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Of particular interest are some statistics (period of 2002-2007) on the state of claims issued (Certificate of Ancestral Domain Claims-CADCs) and titles awarded (Certificate of Ancestral Domain Titles, CADTs) by NCIP nationwide, zooming in first, on the five Mindanao regions, then on the ARMM region; as well as on the policy (i.e. legal) context of ancestral domain claims and their implications for the struggle of ARMM IPs for their ancestral domain.

This report draws heavily on documents released by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP); as well as on documents provided the research team by the officials of the Timuay Justice and Governance (TJG) officials. Additional literature is also referred to, so as to situate the discussions of the ancestral domain claim issues in the Philippines; literature such as the Philippine Constitution (1987), the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA), the ARMM Organic Act and related documents.

The analysis and interpretation are complemented by several field interviews (including a whole day validation session in Cotabato) the research team conducted from December 2007 to January 2008, both in Cotabato and in Manila.