Ex-Palawan Governor Joel Reyes Is Wanted
Lawyers of fugitive former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes has asked the Court of Appeals to nullify the warrant of arrest against him in connection with his alleged involvement in the death of journalist and environmentalist Gerry Ortega.
In his supplemental petition for certiorari, Reyes, through his legal counsel, also sought to nullify the resolution issued by a new panel of prosecutors created by the Dept. of Justice on Sept. 7, 2011 to assess new evidence linking him to the killing.
Reyes also asked the CA to issue a temporary restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction on the arrest order issued by the Puerto Princesa City Regional Trial Court.
In a DOJ resolution, Reyes was excluded from the filing of murder charges for the death of Ortega, citing insufficiency of evidence.
However, Ortega’s wife Patricia Gloria submitted new evidence prompting the DOJ to create another panel to evaluate the evidence submitted.
Eventually, the DOJ reversed its earlier findings and ordered the filing of murder charges against Reyes; his brother incumbent Coron, Palawan Mayor Mario Reyes, Jr.; former Palawan provincial administrator Romeo Seratubias; provincial government employees Arturo Regalado and Percival Lecias.
In his petition, Reyes said DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima herself had clarified that Dept. Order 710 “does not set aside the resolution dated June 8, 2011 and Sept. 2, 2011 rendered by the previous panel of prosecutors.
“The extent of the new panel’s authority is to assess the admissibility and weight of the additional evidence and its effect, if any, on the existing evidence.”
Reyes quoted De Lima in her ruling dismissing the motion for reinvestigation of the complainants, which said no new or material evidence would warrant the DOJ to reconsider its previous ruling.
However, the second panel of investigators filed the case against Reyes and several others.
The Puerto Princesa City RTC has issued a warrant for their arrest.