Last Speech Syndrome

* very delayed blog post

Like P-noy, I haven’t moved on from Corona’s case.I have no flair for politics and law but the judgement day of Chief Jusitice Corona was such an amusement. And I feel guilty  of using the word amusement with someone’s misfortune or must I say the country’s misfortune. I am not going to expand my opinion of whether Corona should be impeached or not. As what Lito Lapid said, “Hindi ko na babanggitin ang Republic Act dahil wala naman maniniwala sa akin.”But what I want to share to you is a disease called LSS, not last song syndrome but last speech syndrome. I am very entertained on how they crafted and delivered their speeches. Whether the senator judges had speech writers, that is not my concern. You can change words and style but you can’t change substance and motives.

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

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

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

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

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. “

Style

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

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.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. PM
    Jun 15, 2012 @ 01:35:25

    i like senator santiago too. she’s on a league all her own. 😀

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  2. JackieB
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 07:45:45

    the truth is truth no matter how you achieve it or how you present it.. evidence cannot lie… ang nakakairita lang kasi some senators are not really after justice..masconcern sila on what is popular to the public kaya I salute Marcos, Arroyo, and Santiago……… Sa totoong lang, parang ako ang napahiya nung nagsalita si Lapid hehe buti pa si Pacman, may effort mag-aral ng law…. I pray for Hacienda Luisita farmers too

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  3. orlando
    Jun 12, 2012 @ 04:58:28

    nga
    naman
    jack
    c
    lito
    lap
    id

    di
    cya
    boring
    ala cya
    script..
    he he..pero
    not mean
    to say..wala cya
    alam sa script
    reading…

    Like

    Reply

  4. Marya
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 16:52:20

    Nice jack. Gusto ko rin yung kay alan peter cayetano pero favorite ko yung kay Lito Lapid. Haha. Even Enrile said he was proud of Lapid. But my vote for best impeachment trial speaker goes to Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas. His powerpoint presentation proved that Corona’s testimony was just “palusot.” He did not use fancy words or metaphors. He just showed strong evidence that Corona lied about his financial assets. I think he should take some credit and not Tupas. Although alam naman natin kung sino talaga dahilan kung bakit na-convict si Corona. I pray for the Hacienda Luisita farmers. Yung kay Miriam naman, wala pa ring tatalo sa kanyang Waaah!

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