MANILA (23-Mar-2013) – A Catholic bishop expressed dismay with the Court of Appeal’s decision to clear former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes of murder charges for the killing of a broadcaster in 2011.
The court stopped the indictment of Reyes for failure of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to observe due process in investigating Dr. Gerry Ortega’s murder.
But Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo criticized the decision in favor of Reyes, who has been in hiding since a warrant for his arrest was issued in March 2012, for allegedly masterminding Ortega’s murder.
“We are very saddened and dismayed by the ruling,” Palawan Bishop Pedro Arigo told Church-run Radyo Veritas yesterday.
“Our group and the Ortega family are only asking to have a day in court, to really have a trial and study the pieces of evidence if they are guilty or not. So this is really frustrating,” he said.
The bishop believed that there is enough evidence that would link Reyes to the killing of Ortega, also a known environmentalist in Palawan.
Last year, the government offered P2 million reward for information that could lead to Reyes’ arrest and another P2 million for his brother, Mario Reyes, who is also tagged as brain behind the killing of Ortega. [CBCPNews]