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Who won Day 1 of Corona impeachment trial?

Illustration by Vincent Go, VERA Files

The jury is still out on who did a better job at making a good first impression with their preliminary statements at the opening of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. Was it the prosecution headed by Iloilo congressman Niel Tupas or the Defense represented by veteran legal luminaries Justice Serafin Cuevas and law school dean Eduardo delos Angeles?

Lawyer Harry Roque cheered for the prosecution. "Brilliant opening by Rep Tupas. Dean de los Angeles bland in comparison," Roque said in his Facebook status update. "Unlike the UAAP, UP law beat AdeMu today." Tupas is a graduate of the University of the Philippines College of Law, while Delos Angeles once headed the Ateneo de Manila law school. Forty-one people "liked" Roque's post.

But others disagreed. "Si Tupas hindi oratory ang ginawa (Tupas didn't delivery an oratory)," wrote actor and writer Joel Saracho. "Declamation. Kulang na lang 'spare me a piece of bread, spare me your mercy...' (All he lacked was 'Spare me a piece of bread, spare me your mercy.')"

One comment to Saracho went this way: "Tupas got eaten alive by Corona's private lawyer, and former Justice Secretary Cuevas' opening is undeniably more intelligent than the prosecution's. I hope they will be prepared next time and not pit the inexperienced against the seasoned lawyers."

VERA Files photojournalist Vincent Go apparently shared Saracho and company's frustration at what they felt was a lackluster opening salvo by the prosecution panel, grabbed his tablet computer, and let out his artistic rage on photoshop to create the cartoon above.

(VERA Files is put out by veteran journalists taking a deeper look at current issues. Vera is Latin for "true.")

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