53. The Cordillera learned that this stigma has been enacted into an overlapping series of laws and decrees,

54. promulgated without their people’s advice, consent or knowledge, which affect their patrimony to their detriment and to the profit of people outside the Cordillera.

55. This policy encouraged the wanton plunder of the vast natural resources of the cultural communities

56. by multinationals and big businesses.

57. Various declarations followed up the oppressive colonial policies.

58. Presidential Decree 705 or the Revised Forestry Code of the Philippines classified all lands 18% or more in slope as inalienable and indisposable for agriculture and settlement.

59. Since the Cordillera has a mountainous terrain, most of the land is 18% and above in slope.

60. The decree further defines the cultural communities as primitive tribes, thus they are squatters and thieves in their own lands.

61. Presidential Decrees 410 also declared ancestral lands occupied by cultural communities as alienable and disposable for exploitation by big business.

62. As it stands today, these oppressive laws remain unrepealed.

63. The other expression of minoritization was the dismemberment of the Cordillera Region into administrative regions: the provinces of Kalinga-Apayao and Ifugao went to Region 2 (Cagayan Valley)

64. while the provinces of Mt. Province, Benguet and Baguio City went to Region 1 (llocos).

65. Evidently, this arrangement was a strategy, to weather the strong resistance of the Cordillera people against foreign domination and exploitation of their rich natural resources.

66. By this arrangement, the Cordillera provinces served as resource bases for lowlanders in llocos and Cagayan Valley.

67. Because of this set-up the Cordilleras remained poor despite their rich natural resources.

68. Moreover, these Cordillera provinces were deprived of the development funds due to them when the lowland-dominated planners favored the lowlanders

69. By the same demonstration of “divide and rule”, this administrative division was implemented to neutralize the strong resistance of the Cordillera people.