MANILA, Philippines?Former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, who was tagged as the alleged mastermind, was a no-show at the start of the preliminary investigation on the death of broadcast journalist and environmental advocate Gerardo Ortega.
Reyes' counsel Ferdinand Topacio said they were not furnished a copy of subpoena issued by the Department of Justice (DoJ) investigating body.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edwin Dayog led the preliminary investigation attended by respondents Dennis Aranas, Marlon Recamata, Rodolfo Edrad, Nonoy Regalado and Valentin Lesias, who were all fully guarded by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI.) They all submitted their counter-affidavits.
Ortega's wife, Patricia, as well as running priest Fr. Robert Reyes and Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn attended the preliminary investigation.
Another suspect, Arwin Arandia, who surrendered only on Monday morning, also attended the inquiry.
"My family convinced me to surrender," Arandia said.
Former Palawan Provincial Administrator Romeo Seratubias, whom the suspects pointed to as the person who contracted them to kill Ortega, also submitted his counter-affidavit through his counsel.
Ortega's wife dared the former governor to "come out and explain if you have nothing to do with this (crime). Don't delay the proceedings."
Ortega was killed in San Pedro village, Puerto Princesa City, last January 24.