De Lima asked to inhibit from handling petition by Reyes brothers



Justice Secretary Leila De Lima. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes through his counsel has asked Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to inhibit from handling the petition regarding the case against him and his brother on the death of environmentalist and broadcaster Gerry Ortega.

Reyes has a pending petition for review with the Department of Justice (DoJ) questioning the findings of the second panel of investigators that recommended the filing of murder case against him and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes.

The findings of the second panel led to the issuance of a warrant of arrest by the Palawan Regional Trial Court.

However, the Court of Appeals nullified the creation of the second panel of investigators as well as its findings of probable cause against the Reyeses. The appeals court also reinstated the findings of the first panel clearing the brothers.

In its motion to inhibit, Reyes, through his lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, said De Lima has gone “beyond being an impartial investigator” when she imputed ill motives on the justices of the Court of Appeals.

De Lima, in a statement to the media, said “foul tactics and illicit means that undermine the integrity of the criminal justice system” may have been employed following the appeals court’s ruling.

“The Secretary has shown that she no longer possesses that cold neutrality of an impartial judge, but has become an inquisitor in a persecutorial scheme…This does not augur well for her impartiality in now deciding the pending petition for review by respondent Joel Reyes and which is now before her for resolution,” the motion stated.

They also questioned why De Lima would meet with the relatives of Ortega at the height of the investigation of the case.

“The Secretary of Justice now has difficult choice to make: be guided by amor proprio and pride and insist on acting on the petition for review, thus miring her Department deeper into controversy; or follow the dictates of ethics and delicadeza and the pellucid mandate of jurisprudence and inhibit herself and her department, thus showing to all and sundry that she is, after all, above the fray and desires nothing but justice and due process,” the motion stated.

Aside from seeking De Lima’s inhibition from the case, the motion said “others who may act on behalf of the Secretary [of Justice]” should also inhibit from the case.

“As head of the Department of Justice, there is none higher than her, and her subordinates are all subject to her control and direction…The entire Department of Justice, under the circumstances cannot be expected to do justice to respondent Joel Reyes,” the motion further stated.

The motion added that it should follow the Court of Appeals and reinstate the findings of the first panel that cleared the former governor and his brother.

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  • Horst Manure

    The whole show DOJ and Judiciary are like dirty Diaper’s all three need to be changed for the same reason.

    Until you get first world standards legal system run by competent people you will always have these problems.
    None could arrange a 2 car parade.

  • doublecross

    saan ang basket kung walang nangyari kay ortega?
    ni wala nga siyang kasalanan, di ba pinapatay ninyo siya para tumahimik!

  • disqusted0fu

    De Lima should never handle any petition. Her being selective has been evident from different situations time and again. She should’ve been inhibited from being the justice secretary from the moment that she defied an order from the SC. But since she is a Pnoy KKK, of course that did not and will not happen.

  • Victor Magallanes

    De Lima is indeed sounding as if she wants the head of the Reyeses when if fact her job is to be neutral when looking for probable cause. The Reyeses are innocent unless proven guilty but it seems de Lima has already made up her mind.

  • Philip Vera Cruz

    Abusing the legal system can arise from various causes. This could be because of incompetence, conflict of interests, bias or prejudice, legal misconduct and corruption. Usually, the form of the abuse is just one of the aforementioned. But in Sec. Leila de Limas case, as much as many would want to deny it, is all of the above. So yes Leila de Lima, you should most definitely inhibit.

  • Jose Manuel Cruz

    If De Lima doesn’t inhibit herself from this case, she might as well open her doors to the possibility that the Reyes’ might not really be behind the murder of Doc Gerry. She should broaden her list of suspects and look into who is benefiting from the loss of Doc Gerry and the absence of the Reyes’ in the political scene.

    But perhaps De Lima is being used as an attack dog by somebody much more powerful and has more chips to play.

  • Political Jaywalker

    The Reyeses are not the victims here but Doc Jerry Ortega so please stop blaming or using De Lima as an escape goat. If the Reyeses are indeed innocent why escape and got the people that help them get in trouble.

    Flight is an indication of guilt, but then again in the Philippines Trapos are never wrong and with just a little prodding and some monetary crumbs thrown the doggie way they might even be venerated like saints, LOL.

    The big question here is why did the appeals court threw out the evidence offered by the private complainant while it was acceptable for the second panel that was the basis for probable cause to indict the Reyeses? Is it because the evidence was not presented by a lawyer with a huge PESOnality?

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