Ex-Palawan governor Reyes also hopes justice is served in broadcaster’s slay

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MANILA, Philippines—“I hope this is not a persecution of justice resulting from media pressure,” former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes said Wednesday.

Reyes and several others have been included by the Department of Justice (DoJ) in the murder case for the death of broadcaster Gerry Ortega after a re-investigation by a different set of panel of investigators.

On the first preliminary investigation, Reyes, along with former Palawan administrator Romeo Serratubias, Reyes’ brother and incumbent Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, and provincial government employees Arturo Regalado and Percival Lecias were excluded from the charge of murder due to lack of evidence.

In September last year, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima ordered a reinvestigation after Patria Gloria Inocencia-Ortega submitted additional evidence to the DoJ prompting the Justice Chief to create another panel for the reinvestigation.

The evidence submitted are mobile phone communication records reflecting communications between respondents Rodolfo Edrad and Joel Reyes and the recording of radio commentaries of the victim when he was still alive.

“The reversal of the decision by the second panel of prosecutors may create confusion in the minds of the public and perhaps question the integrity of the Justice Department in its ability to render firm and steadfast decisions,” Reyes said.

“Certainly, the true masterminds are laughing their heads off at this moment. Yet, I don’t lose hope because I’m convinced justice will be served eventually in due time,” he added.

The case is now before the Palawan Regional Trial Court.

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