The coverage on ANC of the Senate Committee hearings featuring a shifty-eyed Director of the National Archives, was extremely frustrating. Those who didn’t sound stupid sounded ignorant, those who didn’t sound ignorant or stupid sounded disingenous, and so on.
Regardless of the truth -and the truth is something extremely subjective in the end, in any Senate inquiry- the fact is the Director of the National Archives came out looking like an extremely untrustworthy, scheming, if not patently dishonest, person.
The two senators Osmena asked pretty good questions. So did Senator Angara; Senator Pimentel is letting his orneryness get in the way of effective interrogation; I am just about ready to stop giving Senator Sotto the benefit of the doubt.
Manapat was effectively sandbagged by the Senators, and so what could have been a plausible explanation never got out; the senators kept tripping him up and kept zeroing in on the fact that no one but Manapat is to blame for the way a potentially cut-and-dried case has now become practically irredeemably tainted.
Manapat’s explanations, to those familiar with archives, archiving, the state of these in our country and public record keeping in this country in general, have the ring of plausability. But his personal history as an attack dog for the Ramos camp, his personal unpopularity, and his personal demeanor, torpedoed any chance for most people to give him the benefit of the doubt.
At this point it’s almost academic to wonder if there’s any chance the documents Manapat has are actually genuine. He has been tried and found wanting in the court of public opinion.