Ortega seeks disbarment of lawyer linked to Reyes brothers’ escapeBy Redempto Anda
Inquirer Southern Luzon
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY–The family of slain Palawan journalist and anti-corruption crusader Gerry Ortega sought Wednesday the disbarment of Palawan-based lawyer Hermie Aban who they claimed had aided the Reyes brothers in escaping from the country.
Michaella Ortega cited in her petition before the Supreme Court that Aban accompanied the fugitive brothers in a commercial flight to Vietnam last March 18 when the former governor was already subject of a watch order list.
Aban acts as counsel of Reyes’ aide Arturo Regalado who is one of the accused in the Ortega murder case.
Earlier, whistleblower Sandra Cam exposed an alleged conspiracy in the Bureau of Immigration and Deportation and at the Department of Foreign Affairs, which she claimed allowed former Governor Joel T. Reyes and his brother Mario, mayor of Coron, to elude arrest.
The former governor was reported to have travelled using a tampered passport in the name of Joseph Lim Pe issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Five days after the DOJ issued a March 13 lookout bulletin on the former governor, Cam claimed the fugitive brothers managed to slip out to Vietnam via a Cebu Pacific flight accompanied by Aban who was seated beside them as shown by the plane’s manifest and Vietnam immigration records.
Ortega said Aban had been actively attending the court proceedings on the Ortega murder case as one of the defense counsels but had kept silent on the accused masterminds’ whereabouts.
Aban was representing Arturo Regalado, a former personal aide of Reyes who was accused of having assisted a team of hired killers from Pagbilao, Quezon who stalked and eventually shot the victim on January 24, 2011 inside a used clothing store in the City.
“His act of aiding the escape of these two accused and subsequent concealment of their whereabouts is clearly an obstruction of justice for which he should even be criminally held liable,” Ortega said in her petition before the High Court.