Atty. Pabling Garcia lectures the Senate on Constitution
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - February 4, 2015 - 12:00am

The other day, Monday, former Congressman and Governor Pablo P. Garcia appeared before the Senate Joint Committees, chaired by Senators Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Teofisto Guingona III and Aquilino Pimentel III. The topic was the proposed law creating the Bangsamoro Autonomous State, which was the output of the government peace panel and the MILF's negotiations in Malaysia and elsewhere. Noy Pabling's speech was the most erudite, the most learned and the most convincing of all the speeches delivered by all the legal luminaries who appeared as a resource person.

Listening to the discourse of this former dean of the SWU College of Law, a former member of Congress, in fact, its former deputy speaker, and a former governor of our distinguished province of Cebu, I feel very proud to come from his district, the second congressional district of the province, and from his town, Dumanjug.. Noy Pabling, to my mind, is the living reincarnation of our own Don Sergio Osmeña Sr., Don Filemon Sotto, Don Vicente Rama, Don Paulino Gullas, and the late Francisco Emilio Remotigue, Amadeo "Matoy" Seno, and Natalio "Talyux" Bacalso. No other congressman from Cebu, with all due respect, do have the eloquence, the legal mastery and the debating skills and acumen of this learned "guru" in law.

Noy Pabling lectured the Committees on two points: first, that Congress does not have the power to create a new political subdivision, the Bangsamoro; second, the existing ARMM, a constitutional creation, cannot be abolished by mere legislation. His arguments were far more convincing than those of former Supreme Court Justice Adolfo Ascuna (a former member of the 1987 Constitutional Commission), former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban, UP Law Professor Melvin Magallona, and speakers representing MNLF (Abul Kayir Alonto) and the MILF spokesman Mohagher Iqbal. He spoke like Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes and Claro M Recto combined.

All along, I have always believed that the President would be violating the Constitution if he would negotiate away the sovereignty of the Republic. Creating a "bangsa" or a nation within the Philippine nation is a gross and even a culpable violation of the Constitution. Noy Pabling calls it a "palpable" and "incorrigible" violation of the Constitution. He reminded Congress that only the Cordillera Autonomous Region and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao are constitutionally allowed. Neither the President nor Congress is empowered to create any other political entity. This government should listen to Noy Pabling's legal advise. He could even be an excellent Secretary of Justice if Sec. Leila goes to COMELEC.

josephusbjimenez@gmail.com.

ABUL KAYIR ALONTO AQUILINO PIMENTEL BANGSAMORO AUTONOMOUS STATE CEBU CHIEF JUSTICE ARTEMIO PANGANIBAN COLLEGE OF LAW CONGRESSMAN AND GOVERNOR PABLO P CONSTITUTIONAL COMMISSION FORMER NOY PABLING
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