Aguirre: OSG to decide whether to appeal case vs ex-Palawan gov | Inquirer News
Close  

Aguirre: OSG to decide whether to appeal case vs ex-Palawan gov

/ 07:14 PM January 08, 2018
Vitaliano Aguirre II

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II (File photo by MARIANNE BERMUDEZ / Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The government’s prosecutorial arm is in a quandary on the legal implications of the dismissal of case against former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes for the 2011 murder of environmentalist and broadcaster Gerardo Ortega despite Malacañang’s pronouncement that it will appeal the case.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II could not provide a definite response on the government’s next step following the Court of Appeals’ decision clearing Reyes.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The filing of an appeal depends on the CA ruling – if it will constitute double jeopardy,” Aguirre said Monday in a text message to reporters.

According to him, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) handles appeals on criminal cases and it will be up to the OSG to determine if an appeal can still be filed or not.

FEATURED STORIES

In a decision issued last Jan. 4, the appeals court ordered Reyes’s release, saying there was no basis for the Puerto Princesa court to indict him for Ortega’s death.

In clearing Reyes, the appeals court cited lack of evidence.

The decision was written by Associate Justice Normandie Pizarro, the same justice who penned the 2017 ruling clearing Janet Lim Napoles of serious illegal detention as well as the decision dismissing the compensation claim of human rights victims during the Marcos regime.

Associate Justices Maria Filomena Singh and Marie Christine Azcarraga-Jacob dissented from the ruling of the appeals court’s special division.

Singh said there was no proof that the lower court gravely abused its discretion in ordering Reyes’s arrest.

In fact, she said: “The evidence submitted to the RTC in support of the charge tells a clear story – that the petitioner [Reyes], as former governor of Palawan, prima facie ordered the killing of Dr. Ortega.”

“There is nothing remotely resembling abuse of discretion, much less grave, on the part of the RTC in issuing the assailed orders,” Singh said. “The findings of the RTC are supported by the evidence on record, as afore-demonstrated. The RTC merely acted in accordance with the duty imposed upon it by the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure.”

ADVERTISEMENT

On the other hand, Jacob said the proper cause of action would be not to dismiss the case but to proceed to trial.

“The Court, at this particular stage of the proceedings can not arrogate upon itself the task of dwelling on the factual and evidentiary matters,” Jacob said.

Ortega was killed in Palawan on Jan. 24, 2011. The police arrested the gun for hire fleeing the scene and the murder weapon was traced to a lawyer of Reyes. /atm

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Court of Appeals, DoJ, Gerardo Ortega, mario joel t. reyes, Office of the Solicitor General, OSG, Vitaliano Aguirre II
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.