Co-sponsorship Speech: Confirmation of Appointment of Chairman for Commission on ElectionsSeptember 19, 2022
Confirmation of Appointment of
Chairman for Commission on Elections
Atty. George Erwin Mojica Garcia
Session Hall, Senate of the Philippines
Mr. President, my dear colleagues, I introduce to you our Nominee with utmost zeal and enthusiasm. It is my pleasure to share with you the many reasons why I stand proud in moving for the confirmation of our Nominee’s appointment as Commissioner of the Commission on Elections.
There is no question that Atty. George Erwin Mojica Garcia is a brilliant election law practitioner and educator. His level of professionalism and dedication to his field of practice is unlike any other. When Atty. Garcia makes legal strategies, he maps out his plan from start to finish even before the beginning of a case. This is why he is always a couple of steps ahead of his opponents in court. When he delivers his oral arguments, he does it with finesse, eloquence, and expertise. As he conjures thought-provoking arguments, he simultaneously draws the attention of his audience and makes them listen. In the field of election law practice, Atty. Garcia is truly one of a kind. But above and beyond the brilliance of his mind and the magnitude of his work, there lies a man whose attitude, humility, and perspective in life brought him to where he is today.
Garcia is never really one who basks in glory under the limelight. Neither can he be considered as one who clings on to the titles, accolades, and prestige that he amassed throughout his professional career as an election law practitioner. Egocentricity is, perhaps a condition that will never be attached to his personality. I have had the opportunity to listen to him discuss laws and cases for hours and present various sets of well-constructed legal arguments for the Supreme Court, Presidential Electoral Tribunal, Senatorial Electoral Tribunal, House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal, and the Commissions on Elections. Even prior to his stint as “media-favorite” during the recently concluded 2022 National and Local Elections being a Comelec Commissioner then, Atty. Garcia has been frequently seen on television, heard during radio interviews, and mentioned in newspapers, but these countless exposures have always revolved around his work as a lawyer, and now as a Chairman. Throughout the many times that I have encountered Atty. Garcia, I have never heard him talk publicly about himself and his accomplishments. For Atty. Garcia, it was never about him. It was always about his contribution to the field of law and to the society. And if there are times that it was, it came from others who can’t help but appreciate and credit him for his work. He purposefully dimmed his light in order to emphasize what to him was more important and necessary—the complexities and intricacies of our laws and the potential of our public school education system. To him, he is a mere instrument for social change and the pragmatic progress of our legal institution. Ultimately, it is not difficult to discern that he is a person of honor and integrity. His actions spoke volumes about his character. Rather than professing his values, he practiced them without compromise. And that is the reason why there is not a shadow of doubt on my part to sponsor the nomination of Atty. Garcia.
Many would agree when I say that one of Atty. Garcia’s best feature is his humility. His silence about his hardships had led most of us to believe that his journey to success was smooth sailing. But in reality, his humble beginnings impelled him to strive harder and aim higher. Born in a family who lived from paycheck to paycheck and who struggled to make ends meet, Atty. Garcia, at an early age, took upon himself the responsibility of achieving his dreams while living a life dedicated to his family. The financial hardships endured growing up did not hinder him from continuously pursuing his education. It even inspired him to be creative in searching for ways to make ends meet. Motivated by his desire to stay in school, he joined national and regional quiz bee competitions and use the prize money to augment his and his family’s financial needs. By the time Atty. Garcia set foot in law school, he thrived and excelled despite being a full-time working student. The time and financial constraints that confronted him did not serve as barriers in becoming a consistent dean’s lister and a graduate with Latin honors. Indeed, everything that he endured in the past enabled him to live his life with overflowing humility and gratitude. Atty. Garcia is living proof that the difficult circumstances in life do not always bring about defeat; that a person always, always has the power to take charge of his destiny through faith, perseverance, and hard work.
His thirst and unending appreciation for education are laudable, but his willingness to share his knowledge and his inclination to encourage others, especially the youth, to understand the power of education deserve a strong commendation. Under his leadership as Acting Dean, the recent 2020/2021 Bar Exam results revealed that the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, College of Law garnered a 100% passing rate. The efforts of Atty. Garcia cannot go unnoticed. Despite the pandemic, he went above and beyond, by providing free bar review lectures to the Bar Examinees to give them full support and a sense of community. Through this effort, he made sure that the PLM Bar Examinees are able to have higher chances of passing the Bar Examinations.
Moreover, in honoring the sacrifices of his father who selflessly devoted himself to defend our country for 36 years, Atty. Garcia has always signified his unwavering love and unquestionable loyalty to the Republic of the Philippines. The interplay between patriotism and education allowed him to inculcate in his students a thorough familiarity with our own Constitution, culture, history, and political climate. He did this by teaching subjects like Philippine Foreign Policy, Philippine Constitution, Administrative Law, and Law on Public Officers with the end in view of sparking patriotism in the hearts of his students.
Garcia lived his life in service to others. His kindness, generosity, patience, and consideration cascaded to everyone around him. From security guards to high-ranking appointed and elected officials, Atty. Garcia has always been treated with utmost respect and high regard. When he was still a private practitioner, his work gravitated toward public service. Kaya naniniwala ako ang mga salitang “para sa bayan” ay hindi na bago kay Atty. Garcia. He is aware of the gravity of his responsibility and the impact he brings as an advocate in the field of election law. Atty. Garcia is cognizant that the field of election law is imbued with public interest and made it his life’s mission to see to it that the sanctity of the will of the electorate is upheld and reigns supreme in every electoral exercise. It is safe to say that Atty. Garcia’s professional life has always been geared towards the development of our election laws and their processes. He is an ally in the formulation of pragmatic solutions to have honest, credible and orderly elections.
They say if the shoe fits, you should walk in it. Mr. President, my esteemed colleagues, it is my firm belief that there is no one more qualified to become a Chairman of the Commission on Elections than Atty. Garcia. I am confident that he will faithfully discharge, to the best of his ability, the duties of leading the COMELEC even beyond his term of office. The professional experience that makes Chairman Garcia highly qualified for the position need not be reflected in his Curriculum Vitae as they are already a matter of public knowledge. A simple reference to the Supreme Court rulings, books of recognition of finalists of Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines, Outstanding Young Men, Outstanding College Editors of the Philippines, and Outstanding Students of Manila, Newspapers, and a list of the Laurel Scholarship are more than sufficient. Thus, it brings me comfort knowing that we have this opportunity of appointing a person whose level of competence and commitment in the field of election law is beyond reproach.
The Commission on Elections is in dire need of someone like Atty. Garcia whose goal in life is not fueled by sheer ego and ambition, but driven by desire to introduce and effect change and reform for the betterment of the electoral system. He is fit for the job. Having said all of that, Mr. President, I move for the confirmation of the nomination of Atty. George Erwin Mojica Garcia as Chairman of the Commissions on Elections.