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Even judges are misled over the definition of Filipino

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Yesterday, during Maguindanáo Massacre suspect Andal Ampatuan, Jr.’s arraignment, the embattled mayor’s lawyer, Sigfrid Fortún, ridiculously lied through his teeth:

A collective hiss was heard in the courtroom when defense lawyer Sigfrid Fortún expressed doubt his client Ampatuan would understand the criminal charges filed against him if they were read in English.

“He only speaks Maguindanaon … and currently we do not have our own interpreter,” Fortún told Judge Reyes.

The hiss rose to loud murmurs when Fortún volunteered to ask his client if he “understands Tagalog.”

The judge (Jocelyn Solís Reyes) corrected Fortún, telling him to ask Ampatuan whether he “understands Filipino.”

I just couldn’t believe how this esteemed lawyer made a blatant lie about Mayor Ampatuan’s language. Many have seen video clips of the controversial mayor on TV. He was behind bars while answering reporter’s queries. And they were all conversing in Tagalog!

Equably laughable is how the judge “corrected” Fortún with the term Filipino.

This always gets my goat.

It’s not Filipino. It’s Tagalog. Why? Click here. ‘Di co na maipápaliwanag dahil may pasoc pa acó mámayang gabí.

Lying inside a courtroom is an atrocity. But being ignorant on linguistic matters is pitifully outrageous, especially from a trial judge. Sadly, what do they care?

O, Sigfrid... iregalo mo sa cliente mo at nang matuto. Bacá casí Kris-Aquino Taglish pa ang alám niyán, eh.

To read the rest about the Ampatuan arraignment, click here.


2 responses »

  1. Lawyers are indeed liars. Fortun conscientiously knows that his explicitly arrogant client could speak Tagalog and understands plain English. He suffices that he could fool all Filipinos with his kindergarten-like alibis.

    Fortun is such a disgrace to the legal profession just by lying this petty. He was right when he said that even mass murderer have right to a counsel. But he should also indicate that the 57 murdered innocent civilians and their families have also the rights to get justice. And if Fortun does respect the victims’ families, he should not add insult to their already injured spirits.


  2. Pingback: José Escaler, lawyer extraordinaire « FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES

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