CA urged to dismiss Reyes brothers’ plea to drop murder caseBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines–Family and supporters of slain broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega called on the Court of Appeals to dismiss the petition filed by former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes that seeks to drop the murder case filed against them.
The Reyes brothers’ petition sought a reversal of the findings of the Department of Justice (DOJ) that they should be prosecuted for Ortega’s murder.
“We beseech the appellate court to heed our reminder and our request… to deny the petitions of the Reyes brothers and therefore to allow the case of Doc Gerry Ortega, my father, to be heard fairly and honestly in the court of law,” Mika Ortega said Monday.
“If the brothers are granted the relief they aspire for, what then separates our leaders and our courts from those who allowed for mass murder during the Martial Law?” Ortega asked.
The Reyes brothers have reportedly fled the country. The Bureau of Immigration (BI) is conducting a probe into this report.
Initially, the DOJ dismissed the murder complaint against the Reyes brothers. But Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered a reinvestigation after Ortega’s family submitted additional evidence. After the reinvestigation, the DOJ reversed its earlier findings and ordered the filing of the murder case against the brothers. It is now pending before the Palawan City Regional Trial Court.
Dr. Ortega was gunned down in Puerto Princesa City on Jan. 24, 2011.