Continuing Search For Peace
Public Discourse in the Midst of Disinformation | Trust Building in Mediation |
Conversations: Should We Still Talk Peace with the left?
The recent elections had been sorely divisive. We respect the emotions that had arisen from the event. Yet, we recognize the need to move forward and face the challenges of our milieu. Afterall, no matter the outcome, the struggle for peace in our country remains constant. This issue of The Mediator aims to trigger conversations on doing mediation in these critically challenging times. We see the irony of the accessibility of information yet the proliferation of fake news, which, in turn, further draws political divisions among us. While we anticipate economic progress with so much hope, the infrastructure development that is necessary and a manifestation of such progress at times causes the dislocation and suffering of the poor and the destruction of our natural resources and environment. Relative to that, victims of conflict and natural disasters continue to be displaced while facing conflicts regarding housing and social services.
As in past presidencies, among the first issues that come forward is peace. With several failed peace negotiations in the past, should the new administration continue to talk peace with the communist insurgents? Down south, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao remains a fragile and conflict-affected society. Our indigenous groups also fall victim to red-tagging as they continue to defend their ancestral domains. The urban poor often clash with the government for decent relocation and housing issues. Agrarian reform beneficiaries are beset with second generation land reform problems.
Mediating in Critically Challenging Times was also the theme of the National Conference on Mediation, which MedNet conducted last August 3-4. Thus, the presentations and discussions in the conference complement the articles that are contained in this issue. In fact, this issue carries a quick documentation of the Conference. MedNet shall endeavor to publish a comprehensive documentation of the proceedings of the Conference.
Through this issue, too, we celebrate the life of Romelo "Alvin" Astronomia, a founding member and former trustee of MedNet who recently joined his Creator. May his soul rest in peace.