Tag: Self Determination

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Nineteen years of deceit: The Indigenous Peoples Rights Act in the Philippines

The year 1997 was supposedly a landmark year for indigenous peoples in the Philippines with the passage Republic Act (RA) 8371, or the Indigenous People’s Rights Act (IPRA). Many hailed it as an enlightened law that will help ensure the self- determination of the indigenous peoples in the country.

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The fight for self-determination

Simply put, the right to self determination is the right of nations or peoples to freely determine their own political status with no foreign interference. Nations and peoples, by virtue of this right, are free to choose how they will be governed and who will govern them. They, and they alone, will determine how to allocate the resources within their defined territories. In exercising the right to self determination, intervention by foreign political powers is not necessary. What is far more important is for the nation or people exercising this right to be firm in wanting to exercise this right.