‘You should be proud that you have Celso Lobregat as your mayor’- Piñol PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 August 2015 14:05

by Jubels Santos

Then Vice Governor of South Cotabato, Manuel Piñol, said  Lobregat made an eloquent presentation  of the facts when he was given the opportunity to stand before the  justices of the Supreme Court on August 22, 2008 to plead the case of Zamboanga City against the MOA-AD.

Lobregat, he said, proved to all and sundry that he can discuss very critical issues and ventilate the feelings of the people not only in Zamboanga City but all of Mindanao.

Piñol, along with Lobregat and then Mayor Lawrence Cruz of Iligan City, joined forces in fighting to prevent the government from signing the MOA-AD which would have been a disastrous consequence.

(The trio was described as the Tres Dodongs”, a reversal of roles from the TRES MARIAS composed of former Representatives  Luwalhati Antonino (South Cotabato), Daisy Avance Fuentes (General Santos City), and the late Maria Clara Lobregat ( Zamboanga City) who started the struggle to thwart attempts to railroad  the inclusion of their areas and many cities and provinces in Mindanao into the ZONE of PEACE and DEVELOPMENT (ZOPAD), supposed to be administered by the Southern Philippine Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD) which was done without consultation).

“I was proud that a local government official like Lobregat was able to ventilate and air the grievances, feelings of the local people before the highest court of the land”, Piñol told reporters during a visit to Zamboanga City.

He said that was one moment in the history of Zamboanga City that the people should be proud of.

“You should be proud that you have Celso Lobregat as your Mayor,” Piñol stressed.

“In fact, I envy him because not everybody is given that opportunity of being able to stand before the justices of the Supreme Court. Honestly, nainggit ako sa kanya”.

Lobregat’s 22-minute presentation and his response to questions raised by the justices  at the Supreme Court on Aug. 22 helped influence the High Tribunal to declare the MOA-AD unconstitutional and contrary to law. — Jubels Santos