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Talking Points: Peace Process

Updated: Mar 6, 2023

The May 2022 synchronized election is upon us. Crucial as elections have always been in charting the course of our country, this election is seen to even be more critical because the varied political, economic, social and environmental issues confronting us now are touted to be of utmost urgency that render us running against time.

We asked persons of different perspectives and expertise as to what they think are the most critical issues with regards the environment and climate change, agriculture and food security, the peace process, and indigenous peoples' rights that should be put on the table so people can engage in active and extensive conversations to guide them in choosing the best candidates.


What are the issues to be discussed by voters and why are they critical?

Climate of un-peace and violence. The country over the past five years has been subjected to extra-judicial killings of suspected drug addicts and human rights lawyers, continuing armed conflicts with rebel groups, and the campaign against terrorism.

These are critical issues because they involve the taking away of human lives without due process, the stifling of the opposition, and the formation of a climate of fear that obstructs the genuine development of communities. The continued disrespect for human lives and the rule of law can lead to a return to martial law days.

The resumption of peace talks with the NDFP should also be addressed together with the root causes of un-peace.

Corruption and silencing of legitimate dissent. During this pandemic period, allegations of large-scale corruption have surfaced. The country itself is straining under enormous foreign debts due to the emergency situation. The stifling of the ongoing investigation by the Senate or of a free press is symptomatic of corruption at the highest level. The lack of checks and balances — from the Lower House and the Judiciary — is also an indication of how public accountability is lacking.

Climate change and care for the environment. The country has been experiencing severe weather conditions — typhoons, sudden flooding, etc. — that have affected many households. The continued construction of coal-fired power plants, the resumption of large-scale mining operations such as the projected Tampakan open-pit mining in South Cotabato, and the denudation of our watershed areas, etc. are all danger signs for the country. The Philippines should join the global community in arresting the threat of irreversible climate changes endangering our entire planet.

What are the available channels for community dialogues?

There should be more webinars and information sharing over the internet about these issues, particularly during this pandemic period when many households are restricted in their movements. Basic Ecclesial Communities at the kapilya and selda levels can also discuss these issues. Interviews of candidates themselves can highlight these concerns.

Archbishop Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ

Former Archbishop of the Metropolitan

Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro


Talking Points for the 2022 Philippine Elections was first published in the December 2021 issue of The Mediator, the official magazine of MedNet.

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