Much has been said and will be said about Hello Garci. However, the truth does not lie on the tapes anymore, but on the president herself.
If we recall, she herself publicly admitted on television to a phone conversation with a “Comelec official.” If she wasn’t hiding anything, then there surely was no reason not to name this person at the very least.
Her half-truth—half-truths are more insidious than a blatant lie—should then be the focus of any inquiry. Notably, the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine would not apply here since it is her words that now make the tree, as it were, for the “whole truth and nothing but the truth” that the Filipino people deserve. In evidence, this is called “volunteered information,” which is perfectly admissible. It is further a declaration against interest that even carries greater evidentiary weight.
Once again, she said:
“For the last several weeks, the issue of the tape recordings has spun out of control. Tonight, I want to set the record straight. You deserve an explanation from me, because you are the people I was elected to serve.”
“As you recall, the election canvassing process was unnecessarily slow even after the election results were already in and the votes had been counted.
“I was anxious to protect my votes and during that time had conversations with many people, including a Comelec official. My intent was not to influence the outcome of the election, and it did not. xxxx”
Strikingly, this statement is much like Nixon’s first Watergate denial speech on April 30, 1973:
“I want to talk to you tonight from my heart on a subject of deep concern to every American.”
“In recent months, members of my Administration and officials of the Committee for the Re-Election of the President— including some of my closest friends and most trusted aides—have been charged with involvement in what has come to be known as the Watergate affair. xxxx
“I was determined that we should get to the bottom of the matter, and that the truth should be fully brought out—no matter who was involved.”
But, a smoking gun tape would later reveal Nixon’s cover-up planning with his aides on June 23, 1972: “xxx when you...get these people in, say: ‘Look, the problem is that this will open the whole, the whole Bay of Pigs thing, and the President just feels that’ ah, without going into the details... don't, don't lie to them to the extent to say there is no involvement, but just say this is sort of a comedy of errors, bizarre, without getting into it, xxxx”
To his credit, Nixon eventually resigned. For, “America needs a full-time President and a full-time Congress…”
When Nixon died long after Watergate in 1994, he was honored, as Reagan wrote, as “one of the finest statesmen this world has ever seen.”
“Truth is truth. To the end of reckoning.” (Shakespeare)