MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DoJ) has reversed itself and ordered the filing of a murder case against former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and four others in connection with the death of broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega.
Last year, the DoJ dismissed the case against Reyes, former Marinduque Governor Jose Carreon, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, lawyer Romeo Seratubias, Arturo Regalado and Percival Lecias.
But Justice Secretary Leila De Lima ordered a re-investigation of the case after complainant, Ortega’s widow, Dr. Patria Ortega submitted additional evidence to support their allegations.
In its latest resolution, the DoJ only excluded Carreon from the case for insufficiency of evidence.
“After the reinvestigation and evaluation of the evidence adduced by both parties, the new panel arrived at the conclusion that the additional evidence offered by the complainant are relevant in appreciating other pieces of evidence previously submitted by the parties during the first preliminary investigation and that such additional evidence are sufficient to modify the initial findings of the previous panel,” said the DoJ panel of investigators, led by Assistant State Prosecutor Steward Allan Mariano and which was approved by Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.
Ortega was killed last Jan. 24, 2011 in Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.