The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act: A Vehicle for Liberty & Prosperity

A successful lecture was delivered by Atty. Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez, Dean of the University of the Cordilleras College of Law on October 3, 2013 at the UC Theater, Baguio City. Aside from attracting a number of lawyers, academics and students, his discussion on “The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA): A Vehicle for Liberty & Prosperity“ was also witnessed by guests from local government units, NGOs, and indigenous communities, who all gathered and filled the 700-capacity auditorium to standing-room-only, the biggest audience to attend a FLP-sponsored public event since the professorial chairs launching ceremonies held at the Metrobank Auditorium (Metrobank Plaza, Makati City).

His public lecture argued that the essence of Republic Act No. 8371, also known as the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of 1997, was being eroded by the sale of ancestral lands for which a number of Baguio Ibaloi families now hold CALTs (or certificates of ancestral land titles).

Dean Agranzamendez is the appointed holder of the “Chief Justice Panganiban Professorial Chair on Liberty and Prosperity” for Luzon. A trial lawyer since 1975, Atty. Agranzamendez has handled several cases, among which is the case involving the death of American Peace Corps volunteer Julia Campbell in 2007. He has been the dean of the UC College of Law since 2000 and is a member of the National Conference for the Revision of the Rules of Civil Procedure. He was conferred the Master of Laws degree by San Beda College in June 2013.

A leading law school in the country, the University of the Cordilleras has produced at least 18 Bar topnotchers to date, including the two first-placers (Janet Abuel and Noel Neil Malimban). It is the only law school outside Metro Manila that boasts of producing two Bar first-placers.

Launched on December 20, 2011, the FLP was founded by retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban along with fellow retired Chief Justice Hilario G. Davide Jr., business icon Washington Sycip, and former UC President and Education Secretary Edilberto C. de Jesus. The FLP aims to “perpetuate the core judicial philosophy of Chief Justice Panganiban that jurists and lawyers should not only safeguard the liberty of the people but must also nurture their prosperity under the rule of law.”

As its first project, 10 professorial chairs were appointed to “conduct original research and delivery of scholarly outputs to advocate the promotion, appreciation, application and protection of the intertwining relationship of liberty and prosperity.” One each from the nine leading law schools in the country and one from the Philippine Judicial Academy were designated and will receive stipends from FLP and co-sponsor Metrobank Foundation.

3 October 2013
Dean Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez
University of the Cordilleras College of Law (Baguio City)
The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA): A Vehicle for Liberty & Prosperity” (download PDF)



Dean Agranzamendez delivering his lecture.


Snapshot of the powerpoint presentation by Dean Agranzamendez


Closing remarks by Dr. Edilberto de Jesus, former University of the Cordilleras President
and incumbent Foundation for Liberty and Prosperity Trustee (and Education Committee Chair)


Dr. Edilberto de Jesus also served as  former Secretary of the Department of Education (DepEd).


Interviews after the program

3 October 2013
Dean Reynaldo U. Agranzamendez
College of Law, University of the Cordilleras
The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA): A Vehicle for Liberty & Prosperity“ (PDF)