* very delayed blog post
Okay, my nerdy self wants to do Rhetorical Analysis which is a form of criticism on how a text can influence audience. Below are concepts from Greek and Roman rhetoric. Because I am only writing for a blog (Besides, who wants to read a term paper in a blog?), I only include a few thoughts from Classic rhetoric,namely Ethos, Pathos, Logos, Invention, Style, Delivery.
Ethos as defined by Aristotle means convincing by the character of the author.Of all those who voted convicted for CJ Corona, Angara had one of most neutral speeches. He did not show any gesture of anger, unlike some senators who acted as if they were doing such a heroic act of persecuting CJ Corona. I am using Angara as an example for someone who has ethos because of his background as a corporate lawyer. A corporate lawyer would probably know that such large sums of money cannot be solely attributed to co-mingled funds (I’m taking this interpretation from a commentary in ABSCBN)
We all know that politicians have questionable credibility in varying degrees. But there are those who are least credible. I was never attentive with the speeches of Jinggoy and Ping Lacson. To begin with they lacked ethos. How can a man who was accused for murder convict a man who had lesser offense of not disclosing his foreign deposit in SALN?
Pathos refers to emotional appeal used by speakers to persuade audience. You must have noticed that there are three senators judges who used their fathers in their speeches. Cayetano’s talk about his father suffering from cancer, could make someone’s eyes teary. The camera then zoomed in to Pia’s face as if she were into tears. When a speaker talks segments of his personal life, they get sympathy and empathy from the audience.
Logos refers the use of reasoning to influence audience. My best example for logos is the speech of Peter Cayetano. Cayetano has one of the most persuasive speeches. His reasoning is very simple to understand that a layman will believe that CJ is guilty.
“Marami po na may edad na sa lipunan nilalagay sa anak ang mga account nila pero bihira ang anak ang nilalagay siya sa kanilang magulang.”
For a speech that lacks logos, the best example is Lapid’s speech. If you are anti-Corona, you’ll probably say he’s the most sincere. But for someone who’s neutral or pro-Corona, he gives an impression that he is following where the large wave takes him.
Invention as defined by Cicero is the art of finding arguments in a rhetorical situation. To find such arguments, the rhetors find relationships among ideas. These categories of relationships of ideas are called topoi or topics. Comparison is one of the common topic used in their speeches. Osmena’s comparing a court interpreter’s failure to disclose her market place to Corona’s failure to disclose his foreign deposits in his SALN is a very convincing argument. The senator’s argument if a court interpreter has been removed from office, why can’t it be applicable to the Chief Justice?
A special topic of invention deals with virtue. This refers to accepted ideas of what is virtuous or noble. Sen. Peter Cayento emphasized “moral choice.”
“When a public official especially a judge is faced with two possible interpretations of the law, one which will give life to the spirit of the sovereign will of the people and embodied in the Constitution and another that will protect only himself, it is his moral, human, constitutional duty to choose to protect the Constitution and not himself.
“If a public official has a choice between harmonizing several laws with the Constitution, 6713, 6426, and the other choice is to make them repugnant with each other o hindi pwede ipagsama, ano ang dapat ang desisyon, hindi ba simple? Lahat ng abogado alam yun. “
Another element that makes these historic speeches very ear-grabbing is the playful language the senator judges used in their speeches. Like salt and pepper, metaphors in speeches makes plain facts flavorful. I cannot forget the opening lines of Sen. Bongbong Marcos.”The lady justice wears a blindfold for a reason. She is to render justice based on law and evidence without regard to the circumstances and personalities of the parties involved — however controversial they may be. She is to dispense justice without fear or favor.”
I love the metaphor of lady justice even if it is a common symbol of justice. As he continued, “We all took an oath to “do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws of the Philippines” and, like lady justice, we are bound to do so without fear or favor.
Recto compared the prosecution’s preparation with cooking. In his famous lines, he stated: “The reason why the trial simmered in the Senate is because the articles were served half-cooked instead of well done.”
Delivery refers to how gestures and vocal modulation influences the audience. When we speak of delivery, Miriam wins this criterion for judging of best speech. She begins with a calm tone as she builds her case. And when she climax of her speech, “Boom!” “”And as I type excerpt of her speech, I can feel her words jumping. Her speech is a performance. The hands and the voice speaks not only of a good orator but of a theatre actor.
“Nakikinig lang ako noon (She lifts up with her hands and looked up ) sa mga argumento noon … I was already hoping with all my heart that God would strike me dead. Mabuti pa mamatay ako bilang isang abogado kaysa makinig sa mga rason ng mga ganon.. wala yan sa libro..parang hindi ka nagbasa ng batas.There is NO CONFLICT between the Constitution and the Foreign Currency Act.The perceived conflict is so simplistic that it is seriously LAUGHABLE.”
Okay, now you know my best speakers for Corona’s judgement day were Sen. Miriam Santiago and Sen. Peter Cayetan0.