Amid high expectations that Chief Justice Renato Corona Jr.'s trial will officially start, Day 2 turned out to be “disastrous,” with the prosecution panel admitting to be unprepared.
The prosecution panel on Tuesday failed to present evidence and witnesses that will boost their accusations stated in the Articles of impeachment.
With no witnesses to introduce, the prosecution team also brought merely computer-generated documents to prove Corona amassed ill-gotten wealth while in power.
Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, the impeachment presiding officer, refused to acknowledge the documents pending authentication.
Which comes first?
Enrile also questioned the prosecution panel for choosing to present for Article II, which pertains to Corona’s real estate properties instead of starting with the first Article, which is Corona's ties to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“If you consider Article II your most important, why wasn't it No. 1?” the presiding officer said.
Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, a member of the prosecution team, justified their move by citing public interest.
But the defense team said they were not ready to discuss Article II and what they prepared for was Article I, in chronology of the articles of impeachment.
The court later postponed the trial until 2 p.m. Wednesday since the prosecution team was not ready to present evidence.
It further asked the House panel to organize their sequence of presentation of evidence so the defense team and the court will be prepared for the discussion.
Senator-Judge Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada called the prosecution team's move "disastrous."
"Disastrous for the prosecution, nakita ng lahat they were not prepared," he said after the proceedings.
"Dapat may magtestify ng authenticity ng documents. I hope they can come out with a testimonial evidence," he added.
Angara noted that a lot of people were disappointed with the prosecution.
“I think everyone was disappointed, even among themselves. They have to be more prepared next time for their own sake and for everybody’s,” Sen. Edgardo Angara said in an interview.
In a press briefing, the defense team expressed their joy over the turnout of the Tuesday’s proceedings.
“We are happy with the proceedings. The decisions of the court were based on the Constitution and the rules of court,” said Atty. Karen Jimeno, spokesperson of the Corona camp.
“We’re happy with the advances today but this is just an initial victory. This is not a day-to-day competition. In a trial like this, you need to build up your case,” Atty. Tranquil Salvador, another spokesperson of the defense team, added.