'FOUL-MOUTHED' ?Excerpt of Sen. Santiago's 2006 privilege speech: "I am not angry. I am irate. I am foaming in the mouth. I am homicidal. I am suicidal. I am humiliated, debased, degraded.
And I am not only that, I feel like throwing up to be living my middle years in a country of this nature. I am nauseated.
I spit on the face of Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban and his cohorts in the Supreme Court, I am no longer interested in the position [of Chief Justice] if I was to be surrounded by idiots.
I would rather be in another environment but not in the Supreme Court of idiots."
Read complete speech here
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Saturday rejected a news report, which said that the Supreme Court had censured her for scathing remarks she made in a privilege speech in the Senate more than two years ago.
In a statement, she said that the high court, in a ruling released Tuesday, did not reprimand her, but only reminded her to avoid "intemperate language." "Contrary to a certain news report, the Supreme Court did not issue a ‘censure,’ which in law means an official reprimand," the senator said. "The court merely stressed (my) duty as a lawyer to avoid ‘intemperate language’" she added. [Read the Supreme Court's decision here.] Santiago likewise clarified that the terms “censure" and “foul mouth" quoted in the news report were those of the newspaper and did not appear in the SC ruling. A major broadsheet reported on Saturday that the high court “censured" Santiago for her “foul mouth," referring to the "offensive and disrespectful" language the senator used in in her privilege speech in December 2006, wherein she called the high court “the Supreme Court of idiots." The speech, which was Santiago’s reaction to her disqualification as a nominee for chief justice, prompted citizen Antero Pobre to file a disbarment case against the senator for her alleged "disrespect" for the SC. The high tribunal, however, decided on Tuesday to dismiss the disbarment case, citing the senator’s “parliamentary immunity." “The plea of Senator Santiago for the dismissal of the complaint for disbarment or disciplinary action is well taken. Indeed, her privilege speech is not actionable criminally or in a disciplinary proceeding under the Rules of Court," the SC decision read. In favor of Santiago Santiago said the SC’s decision to junk the case filed against her was in her favor. “It is perfectly natural for the Supreme Court to protect its own," Santiago, a former trial court judge, said. She also said that she and then Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban remained “amicable" despite her statement in the same privilege speech that she wanted “to spit on the face of Chief Justice."Santiago had in the past used similar offensive or derogatory language against officials who dared to cross paths with her, calling some lawmakers “fungus-faced" and even dismissing her critics who are non-graduates of UP, Cambridge or Harvard as "just feces of inferior life forms."