Widow laments DOJ ruling in Ortega slay case
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines—Patria Gloria Ortega, the widow of slain journalist Dr. Gerry Ortega, held back tears as she agreed to an interview after making an initial decision not to comment on the decision of the Department of Justice to drop murder charges against former Palawan Gov. Joel T. Reyes and five others.
“Of course I’m angry. This speaks a lot about justice under the present dispensation, when we have no one to turn to but the DOJ. We were shocked to find that they had lawyered for the accused mastermind,” Ortega lamented.
She said she will seek other legal recourse, not just for her husband, but for the many other journalists who have suffered the same fate.
A case which was considered by many media watchdogs as one that held promise of finally being resolved with a mastermind being prosecuted was suddenly doused when the special panel of prosecutors formed by the DOJ ruled that Reyes and five others will not be indicted in the Ortega murder case.
Vice Gov. Clara Reyes, the wife of the accused mastermind, declined to comment on the DOJ ruling “until after I have read the entire ruling.”
“In deference to the Ortega family, as I understand how they feel, being a wife (myself), I would not like to make a comment at this point,” Reyes told reporters.
Capitol employees, however, were jubilant after hearing about the decision, with many casually exchanging high-fives.
“I just won P800 from a bet (that Reyes will not be indicted),’’ an employee said.