... and the best speech goes to, (drumroll...), Senator Judge Ping Lacson. Woooo! Hoooh! Clap. Clap. He gave the shortest speech and diffused three bombshells! Yes, three. That's why the title of this post is Liar! Liar! Liar!, because as the good Senator Judge Ping Lacson said in his speech, "half truths are no better than lies".
I have expected the unexpected.
If you carefully listen to all of the speeches given by the 23 Senator Judges, most of them centered on two points. They are (1) the "non-declaration" of the Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona of his 2.4 Million U.S. Dollars and 80 Million Pesos in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN); and (2) the controversial use of Republic Act 6426 (Foreign Currency Deposit Act) that guarantees absolute confidentiality of dollar bank accounts to justify his non-declaration.
So, there's really nothing "unexpected" from the reasons given by the Senator Judges in their speeches in the historic ending of the Impeachment Trial on 29 May 2012. I have expected as much!
I have also expected the Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile to give a clear and comprehensive set of reasons, as well as a detailed backdrop of the proceedings, that justify his verdict of conviction. His speech for me is one of the best as far as content is concerned. We are however, treated with special explosive speeches by the other Senator Judges, which are equally outstanding in content and delivery.
Literal and figurative explosions.
There were two "explosive" speeches given. One is that of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago's. It is "literally" explosive with all her angst brewed into anger that made her ask for a second life from God after asking being stricken dead! LOL. She said, "strike me dead!". Then later on asked for another life from God. She also spoke some profanity. So, if you will ask me what my reaction is of her speech, I will summarize it in one word, which I borrowed from no less than Senator Santiago herself from her outburst in one of the hearings of the trial. My reaction is:
Ater that literal "explosion" of anger, I find Senator Ping Lacson's speech even though it is probably the shortest speech of about 3 minutes and 27 seconds, is nonetheless explosive! Senator Lacson did his homework and asserted that there's more to what we have heard admitted by the Supreme Court Chief Justice in open court about his liquid assets. He made some simple but keen analysis on the 25 May 2012 testimony of the respondent Chief Justice Renato Corona. Listen to Senator Lacson's speech.
But before that, yes, you guessed it right. I recorded again the proceedings of the last day of the Impeachment Trial. Yes, I recorded it with my cellular phone again from a live TV broadcast. (Mental note: I have to write a blog post about my awesome Android phone.) I also transcribed it. I find it more intimate and more effective in grasping the message of a talk or speech by listening to a recording or podcast while reading the transcript. Anyway, here it is for those who missed it and for those who want to learn more about the impeached Chief Justice Corona:
"When a witness takes the stand, he swears to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. That makes half truths no better than lies. I have always been an investigator all my public service life. Modesty aside, I have the uncommon ability to determine if a person is telling the truth or not.
"An error in judgment has no place in this trial because it is final and irreversible. Equally important to me is the testimony of the respondent particularly in this case because the exalted position of the highest magistrate of the land must shut its door to anyone to desecrate the solemn oath that engulfs a testimony in any judicial proceedings.
"Over the weekend I did my homework and discernment. Let me share it with you.
"Chief Justice Renato Corona at one point had three million nine hundred seventy seven thousand seven hundred ninety dollars and eighty seven cents (3,977,790.97 U.S. Dollars). At a given time he had ninety one million two hundred eighty thousand four hundred ninety nine pesos and twenty two centavos (91,288,499.22 Pesos). If you ask me, so what is the difference between 3.9 million dollars and 2.4 million dollars? Between 91 million pesos and 80.7 million pesos? My answer is a lot of money!
"Chief Justice Renato Corona used to work as a senior officer of the tax and corporate counseling group of the tax division of a prominent accounting firm Sycip, Gorrez, and Velayo, and company (SGV). He also taught commercial law, taxation, and corporate law at the Ateneo de Manila University for 17 years. I find it hard to believe his testimony that he does not understand accounting.
"Chief Justice Renato Corona testified under oath that he invested in currencies and not in properties in the late sixties mindful of the Basa-Guidote family squabble over some real estate property left by their deceased parents. The fact is, the family feud started in 1989. One cannot simply learn from the lessons of the future.
"Even if the standards of moral fitness for such a lofty position in government were lowered, an acquittal may still be difficult to justify.
"Mr. President, distinguished colleagues, I therefore find the respondent GUILTY AS CHARGED under Article 2 of the Articles of Impeachment."
- Senator Judge Ping Lacson