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Decency in Discourse, Charity in Truth

While disagreements and differences are inevitable, our shared dignity demands the utmost decency in our discourse.

Now that the plebiscite is over, and the will of the sovereign has been expressed, it is opportune to reflect on the character of political discourse Palaweños engaged in during this understandably divisive period in our province’s history.
 
The proposed division of Palawan provided an avenue for meaningful conversations on the legal, economic, social, and political implications of the prospect of having 3 provinces in Palawan.
 
The discussions, however, took an unfortunate turn when the campaigns staged on social and traditional media focused on personalities and perceived agendas, rather than ideas.
 
It was disheartening to see ad hominems, slanders, and accusations abound, instead of intelligent arguments and sound information.
 
While there were debates and legitimate information drives, more prevalent were posters and videos demonizing persons, defamatory social media posts and comments, and endless rumor mongering.
 
We must realize that name-calling and shaming of persons for simply having and advocating for a contrary stand does nothing to contribute to the quality of discourse in the province and in society.
 
The truth, when fully and simply expressed, is already forceful and compelling, and need not be embellished by unnecessary tirades.
 
We need to be reminded of the need to speak our truth not just with clarity, but above all, in charity- Caritas in Veritate.
 
While disagreements and differences are inevitable, our shared dignity demands the utmost decency in our discourse.
 
It is the mark of a great society if its people are able to settle the deepest of conflicts with amity, mindful of the fact that there is always variety in the pursuit of the good.
 
As we move on and continue to work for the good of all Palaweños, may charity, the queen virtue, reign supreme.
 
 
 
Atty. Jesus Joel Mari Delos Reyes Arzaga, J.D., is a lawyer engaged in private practice, a university professor, the Vice-President for Legislative Affairs of the Alliance for the Family Foundation, Inc (ALFI), and the Secretary of the UA&P Institute of Law.

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