Joel Reyes hits Roque over ‘conflict of interest’
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY — Former Palawan Governor Joel T. Reyes on Tuesday hit back at Palace spokesperson Harry Roque over the latter’s statement expressing displeasure over the Court of Appeal’s order last week releasing him from detention.
“You cannot be a lawyer to anyone else because that’s conflict of interest. Your office can easily sway the judiciary,” Reyes said.
Roque, who had served as legal counsel to the family of murdered Palawan broadcaster Gerardo “Gerry” Ortega prior to his appointment as spokesman, has blasted the CA ruling and stated the administration will seek a reversal of the release order in the Supreme Court through the Department of Justice and the office of the solicitor general.
Reyes made the statement following a surprise visit to the provincial capitol of Palawan where he had a one-on-one meeting with Governor Jose Alvarez. Alvarez and Reyes were political rivals when the former entered provincial politics in the 2010 local elections.
Alvarez told reporters following his meeting with Reyes that he simply advised the latter “to take a rest” and “do good.”
Alvarez said that he told Reyes that he, not being a lawyer, cannot comment on his case but had advised to him to take advantage of his liberty “to do something good.”
“Whatever the judiciary gave you, do well with it and use the remaining years of your life for good,” Alvarez said to Reyes.
Vice Governor Victorino Socrates, who also met with Reyes, told reporters he was surprised by the CA ruling on Reyes’ case.
“It is the first time that I see this outcome from the court. Regardless of the parties. For the CA to dismiss the case with the basis of ‘probable cause,’ that should have been determined from the start. This one is on the trial stage already,” Socrates said.
Asked what his message was to the Ortega family, Reyes said he wants to reconcile and asked his critics “to respect the rule of law.”
“I hope we would be united in respecting the rule of law,” Reyes said.
“He (Reyes) offered to help. I said I’m okay and that he should better rest first because he has been detained for a long time,” Alvarez said.
Reyes said he was pleased with his meeting with Alvarez and that he was “warmly received” by the latter. /je
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