Ortega widow says murder case still on
MANILA, Philippines – The widow of slain broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega clarified on Thursday that the murder case is still on against the suspects in her husband’s murder, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother, former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes.
Patricia Ortega, her lawyer Alex Avisado, and Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn convened the press conference in Makati City, following the Court of Appeals decision, based on a technicality, to invalidate a second panel convened by Justice Sec. Leila de Lima to reinvestigate the case.
But “the murder case is still pending in Palawan, the arrest warrants are in effect, and there is still a reward of P2 million each for the fugitive Reyes brothers,” Patricia clarified, in a statement.
“The initial stories and headlines gave the impression that the fugitive Reyes brothers have been exonerated or have been declared not guilty. We were initially led to believe that the warrant of arrest has been quashed and that the brothers will surface soon,” she said.
“It is now quite apparent that this was a conscious disinformation from Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, legal counsel of the hiding Reyeses, who broke the news to the media on the day the decision was promulgated,” she added.
She called on Topacio to stop doing “trials by publicity.”
“Let’s just settle this in court,” she said.
Patricia said that she only spoke out two days after the CA decision was released so she can study it closer. “Our hearts were broken upon hearing what had happened … however, a closer reading of the CA ruling put these perceptions to rest for now,” she said.