Coron Comelec to update Reyes brothers’ biometrics in Puerto Princesa
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The Reyes brothers, high-profile detainees at the Puerto Princesa City jail, need not line up for their biometrics before the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
READ: Jail won’t keep Reyes brothers from polls
The Comelec office in the town of Coron, where brothers Joel and Mario Reyes are running for the top two posts, will come to them instead just to update their respective voter’s profile.
The Palawan Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 52 granted on Friday afternoon an urgent motion filed by the Reyes brothers’ legal counsel to order the Comelec to get the detainees’ biometric data at their detention facility instead of allowing them a prison pass.
The court-arranged biometric registration for the brothers will necessitate a Comelec official from Coron to fly to Puerto Princesa via Manila, since there is no direct public transportation link between the two locations.
The RTC is expected to release its order to the poll body on Monday when Comelec re-opens its registration process after suspending it for a week to pave way for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs).
RTC Judge Angelo Ariza granted the Reyeses’ motion to request the Coron Comelec office to travel to Puerto Princesa City and update the detained brothers’ biometrics.
“Considering their [registrations] have been deactivated because they were not able to vote during the past two elections, we filed the motion asking the court to compel the Comelec to complete their registration requirements,” Reyes’ counsel Joaquin Hizon told reporters.
READ: Jailed Reyes brothers to run for Coron mayor, vice mayor
Former Palawan Governor Joel T. Reyes and his brother Mario both filed their COCs for mayor and vice mayor, respectively of Coron—their hometown in northern Palawan. Both were represented by a legally authorized representative.
Mario was the mayor of Coron before he and his brother Joel went into hiding three years ago, after they were named as alleged masterminds in the 2011 killing of Palawan journalist and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega.
The Reyes brothers, who are facing a murder charge, were arrested in Phuket, Thailand last month. RAM
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