October 6, 2019 (11:47 AM)

3 min read


Dr. Rec Eguia shared how research and education contributed to the development of peace and security in a forum held titled AC US Embassy Talks. Photo by Gloria Andrea Mendoza

Highlighting potential contributions to peace and security in Mindanao, experts from Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU) and University of Southeastern Philippines (USeP) convened during a segment of the American Corner US Embassy Talks in the Finster Auditorium, September 30.

The forum discussed international relations and multilateral diplomacy; education and research; and community development and dialogues as vital tools for Mindanao’s well-being and resilience.

“Education liberates the individual and society and it goes without saying that if we liberate an individual through education, we liberate the society from the bondage of prison and poverty,” USeP Dean of Advanced Studies Dr. Rec Eguia said, stressing the adverse effects of “lack or absence of education.”

He also believes that the vital factors in achieving peace and security in Mindanao can only be attained through education.

“My argument is that education and research are instruments to promote social justice, equality, and inclusive economic growth and these are necessary elements or fundamentals of peace and security,” Eguia added.

On the other hand, John Harvey Gamas, an alumnus of the Study of the U.S. Institutes and Chair of the International Studies of AdDU, discussed climate change as the greatest security threat today.

“Our greatest security threat is environmental degradation. This is manifested in many ways: climate change, plastic pollution, deforestation, so and so forth. This has taken a toll to our security and peace… We have to act together but we have to act quickly,” he said, emphasizing the importance of “non-state actors” and the individuals in combatting this challenge.

Meanwhile, Datu Mussolini Lidasan, Executive Director of Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia, capped the forum by asserting the need to secure trust within people, setting the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) as a viable example.

“Usually when we think of peace and security, we think of the military and the armed forces. Public order and safety is not the only thing we need to keep secure, however. We must also secure trust in the people, towards government services, towards our different sectors and in themselves to be able to grow BARMM as needed. It is the only start of how dialogue can contribute to peace and development in our communities,” Lidasan said.

The AC US Embassy Talks Davao: Contributions to Peace and Security Toward Mindanao Well-being and Resilience is an initiative of the American Spaces of the US Embassy in the Philippines in partnership with AdDU’s American Corner and International Studies department.

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