Ortega murder: Ex-Coron Mayor Reyes granted bail
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The Palawan Regional Trial Court on Friday granted bail to former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, who was implicated in the 2011 murder of broadcaster and environmental crusader Gerry Ortega.
In a ruling, RTC Branch 52 Judge Angelo Arizala allowed Reyes to post a P500,000 bail for his temporary liberty. The same court has yet to issue a separate ruling on a similar bail petition filed by Reyes’ brother and suspected mastermind, former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes.
The Reyes brothers were linked as alleged masterminds in the January 2012 murder of Ortega, who was shot and killed in a used clothes store in this capital city. The Reyeses went into hiding for three years until they were arrested by Thai authorities in Phuket, Thailand, last year and extradited to the Philippines, where they were detained at the Puerto Princesa City jail.
The younger Reyes was identified by prosecution witnesses as having participated in the crime by handing payment to the leader of a group that killed Ortega. The leader, Rodolfo Edrad Jr., had turned state witness and pointed at the Reyes brothers as masterminds.
The Reyes brothers are running for local posts in Coron in northern Palawan, their hometown. Joel is running as town mayor, with Mario as his running mate.
The Ortega family has declined to issue a statement in reaction to the ruling, saying the family has yet to receive a copy of the order and talk to its lawyers.
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