After 25 trial days the prosecution panel finally decided to rest their case on the articles of impeachment against Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Just at the start of the trial, the day seemed leading to some unusual events. Before it can take-off in today’s trial the presiding justice needed to suspend the start of the trial because of some logistical problems from the defense panel with most of their counsels including lead defense counsel former Justice Serafin Cuevas stranded in Manila traffic due to the evangelical event of Iglesia ni Cristo in Quirino Grandstand.
But to compensate for the waiting of Cuevas’ arrival they agreed to have the prosecution presented it’s next witness pending the cross examination of ABS-CBN cameraman Ed Llosala. Prosecution then presented Malacanang Records Officer Elenita Gatbonton who testified and authenticated documents that pertained to Corona’s appointment to the Supreme Court as Chief Justice. Thereafter they presented David Piedad and Rochelle Mendez both employees of ABS-CBN who testified on the veracity of the videos being presented by the prosecution.
And just some minutes before 5 o’clock lead prosecutor Rep. Niel Tupas took the podium and issued a manifestation that they are resting their case, thus causing shock and amazement and surprise from people inside the impeachment court.
According to Tupas, they have already presented enough and overwhelming evidences just in the Article 2 to convict the Chief Justice. He said they’ve already presented 25 witnesses and hundreds of documentary evidences for Articles 2,3 and 7 and they believed that those were already enough to get a conviction thus no need for them to present evidences on other Articles. In effect they were also withdrawing those articles that were yet to be presented such as Articles 1,4,5,6, and 8. Several times the presiding justice Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asked Tupas if in fact they are “dropping” the other articles and Tupas replied in the affirmative.
As for the defense panel’s reaction, they said it was a welcome development for them. Now that the prosecution rested their case, they can now present their defense against all the allegations leveled against their client.
Now that the ball is transferred to the defense side, let’s see if they have substantial evidence to re-butt all the allegation and charges against the Chief Justice.