Together with two of my classmates in my Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) class under Judge Rico Sebastian Liwanag, I visited the Philippine Mediation and Conciliation Office (PMCO) – Makati last February 28, 2014. Our agenda were (1) to set a schedule for our mediation session observation and (2) to conduct an initial interview with one of the mediators, Dr. Michael Oliver.
Our second visit in the PMCO-Makati was on March 11, 2014, where we already observed an actual mediation conducted by the office. We observed in a proceeding involving a bank as the complainant and a private person as the defendant. The mediator was Atty. Julita Espartero.
The nature of the case is replevin. The bank granted a car loan to the defendant, but the subject vehicle was carnapped; such incident induced the defendant not to pay the amortizations of the loan. After more or less a year from the date of the carnap, the vehicle was recovered but the bank was able to take possession of it, foreclosed it, and eventually sold it in a foreclosure sale.
During the mediation, the defendant private party was with a lawyer as her counsel. On the other hand, the bank sent a representative who is not a lawyer but is an employee under the legal department of the bank.
Interview with Dr. Michael Oliver, Mediator
Our interview with Dr. Michael Oliver revealed some of the concerns in the mediation process from the point of view of the mediator. Among others, they are: (1) trust and confidence of the parties in mediation itself, (2) decorum of the counsels, (3) respect of the parties and lawyers to the office, and (4) length of time in cases involving business entities as parties to a case. Continue reading