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