Celso’s strong and exceptional leadership resulted in SC favorable decision - Valles PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 21 August 2015 17:53

Then Zamboanga City Archbishop Romulo Valles hailed then Mayor Celso Lobregat for his vast knowledge on the issues that made him an exceptional leader in the struggle against the MOA-AD.

He was apparently referring to Lobregat’s appearance before the justices of the Supreme Court on August 22, 2008 arguing his case very eloquently and convincingly that even Secretary Agnes Devanadera of the Department of Justice who argued in defense of the MOA-AD conceded to Lobregat.

Devanadera was quoted as saying, “those who were there saw how lawyers argued, but it was different when Lobregat argued. Surrender kaagad ako”.

Valles said “Lobregat’s strong and exceptional leadership in the fight against the MOA-AD resulted in the favourable decision of the Supreme Court”.

In a concelebrated Thanksgiving Mass he presided at the Metropolitan Cathedral after the Supreme Court’s ruling, then Archbishop Valles said,” Lobregat provided the precise leadership and worked so hard to ensure that the interest and welfare of his people are protected”.

Lobregat did not waiver in his position even after one of the justices disclosed that there was a publication in the national dailies that Malacañang will not sign the MOA and that the President will cancel the accord.

He told the justices.”I have read the pleadings of the Solicitor General and nowhere in their pleading is stated that the signing of the MOA-AD will not happen”.

“What if the President of the Philippines mentions now that she will cancel the MOA-AD, will you be willing to withdraw your petition” asked one of the justices.

Lobregat, the first and only non-lawyer to be given the rare and providential opportunity to speak at the Supreme Court, replied, “ Your Honors, it is not only the cancellation, but that the negotiations should be within the parameters of the Constitution, and there should be no dismemberment of the Republic”.

In the course of the ‘question and answer proceedings’ Lobregat was again asked by one of the justices, “What if there is a declaration today that this MOA-AD which is the subject of these cases, shall be cancelled , it will not be signed anymore, will you be willing then to withdraw your case”?

Lobregat argued, “There were discussions earlier as to why the Supreme Court should rule on the matter, so that even the GRP Panel will be guided on how to conduct or under what parameters the future negotiations should be”.

It was Lobregat’s insistence that the Supreme Court issue a ruling in order to put the MOA-AD to rest, and the High Tribunal did so by declaring the MOA-AD unconstitutional.