BRENDA JAY C. ANGELES MENDOZA
Former Chief, Philippine Mediation Center Office
Supreme Court of the Philippines Vice-Chair, ADR Department
Philippine Judicial Academy PHILJA Professorial Lecturer II
Brenda Jay Angeles Mendoza (Bjay) is a lawyer and an experienced mediator who has worked in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, wearing different hats, for more than twenty years. She has a background in law and human rights, and experience in natural resources and environmental law, coupled with mediation skills and advocacy which help her in facilitating complex, multi-party disputes.
Her most recent professional work includes assisting the Supreme Court’s Philippine Mediation Center Office (PMCO) in revising its course curriculum for court-annexed mediation; the Department of Justice’s National Prosecution Service (DOJ-NPS) in developing its environmental law curriculum for prosecutors handling environmental cases; and the University of Rhode Island Philippines and FishRight in developing a consensus-building training program for the fisheries management stakeholders of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). She is currently working on a Best Practices Handbook on the Commission on Human Rights - Civil Society Organization (CHR-CSO) Collaboration for Human Rights Protection, and the Philippine Country Report on the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI), a government-led, multistakeholder initiative that implements the global standard for open, accountable management, and good governance of oil, gas, and mineral resources.
Together with two ADR colleagues, Bjay has also trained the Energy Regulatory Commission, the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, and varied offices of the Department of Justice in mediating disputes within their respective jurisdiction. She has recently been included in the roster of the Office for Alternative Dispute Resolution (OADR) Accredited ADR Practitioners/Neutrals.
From 2018, Bjay has worked as a consultant with the Office of the Compliance Advisor/ Ombudsman (CAO), the independent recourse mechanism for projects supported by the IFC and MIGA, the private sector lending arms of the World Bank Group. CAO’s Dispute Resolution function responds to complaints from project-affected communities about the social and environmental impacts of IFC/MIGA projects. Through this process, CAO helps parties identify alternatives for resolving the issues raised. Within the same year, she has also assisted the Consensus Building Institute, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Cambridge, M.A., in a negotiations workshop for IUCN’S Shared Resources/Joint Solutions program stakeholders in the Philippines.
In 2016, she was tasked to head the Supreme Court’s Philippine Mediation Center Office (PMCO) for a term of two years. The PMCO is primarily responsible for the implementation of the judiciary’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanisms, particularly, court-annexed mediation and judicial dispute resolution. Through court ADR, cases filed in courts are diverted to mediation units in an effort to empower party litigants to resolve their own disputes, encourage settlement of disputes, and decongest court dockets.
From 2013 to 2016, she was an environmental law specialist (consultant) at the Asian Development Bank’s Office of the General Counsel - Law, Justice, and Development program, where she worked on a regional technical assistance entitled “Building Capacity for Environmental Prosecution, Adjudication, Dispute Resolution, Compliance, and Enforcement in Asia.”
In 2011, she facilitated the stakeholder evaluation of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL) program for mediating intellectual property disputes, and helped forge its partnership with other cultural agencies in protecting indigenous knowledge and systems.
From 2009 to 2011, she was the Canadian International Development Agency’s consultant who was seconded to the Supreme Court’s Philippine Mediation Center Office (PMCO) where she mentored judicial staff and facilitated skills-enhancement programs on dispute resolution for judges. In the same year, she prepared the Guide to Mediation: Ombudsman Rules of Procedure for Mediation, an Office of the Ombudsman publication sponsored by The Asia Foundation with support from the Millennium Challenge Corporation and United States Agency for International Development.
From 2000 to 2007, she was a consultant and later Program Officer at The Asia Foundation where she helped manage the Foundations’ Legal Accountability and Dispute Resolution (LADR), Human Rights, and Conflict Management (Resource Use) programs. Through these programs, support for the use of mediation by different government and private sector institutions, such as the Supreme Court and the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was provided.
From 1996 to 1999, Bjay co-directed a joint project of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and non-government organization Tanggol Kalikasan on the use of ADR in environment and natural resources conflicts. Her work included the development of a pool of ADR trainers and training modules on ADR, conduct of training activities, and facilitation/mediation of actual environment and natural resources disputes. This initiative eventually led to the formation in 1999 of the Mediator’s Network for Sustainable Peace (Mednet), a loose network of community-based mediators, where Bjay is a founding member and past Vice-President. In 2013, she edited an issue of The Mediator, Mednet’s official newsletter, with the theme Empowering Mediators through Training, and also wrote about ADR in environmental cases.
Over the past years, Bjay lectured frequently and served as resource person/trainer/ facilitator on different ADR topics, such as during Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) offerings, Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) pre-judicature seminars, and PMCO mediation trainings. She continues to be the Vice-Chair of the ADR Department, PHILJA Academic Council and member of PHILJA’s Corps of Professors (Professorial Lecturer II). She also teaches at the De La Salle University College of Law.
Bjay holds a Master in Public Administration from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor of Laws and B.A. in Philosophy, (cum laude) from the University of the Philippines. She has also attended certificate programs on Environmental Law (Asia Pacific Center for Environmental, NUS), Alternative Dispute Resolution (Colorado Dispute Resolution Center, USA), and Conflict Analysis and Peace Building (US Institute of Peace).
(as of December 2020)