The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - The daughter of Gerry Ortega on Sunday appealed to President Benigno Aquino III to help her family get justice for the death of the environmentalist and radio commentator from Palawan province.
“As we commemorate the death of our hero Ninoy Aquino, we appeal to President PNoy to help us get justice for the murder of my father, Doc Gerry. Before his death, my father was relentless in exposing corruption in our province,” Mika, eldest of Ortega's five children, said in a statement.
"President PNoy, my father was fighting corruption, the very evil you promised to address in your administration. My father, a supporter of your mother, President Cory, believed in your anti-corruption campaign and supported you. He voted for you," added Mika.
On January 24, 2011, Ortega was gunned down in Puerto Princessa City after his work from his radio program where he exposed the activities of allegedly abusive mining firms in the province as well as the corruption activities of local politicians, and the environmental degradation in Palawan.
He is the 142nd casualty of violence against media workers in the country since 1986.
Authorities were able to arrest Ortega's alleged assailant. But the mastermind of the killing remains at large, according to the victim's family.
Ortega's wife, Patricia Gloria, accused Joel Reyes of masterminding the crime and filed murder charges against the former Palawan governor. Reyes denied having a hand in the death of Ortega, who ran but lost in the 2004 gubernatorial elections.
Mika believes that Aquino, who also lost his father Benigno Aquino Jr. in a 1983 assassination, understands the predicament of Ortega's family. "We are appealing to you sir, knowing fully well that you understand the suffering we are going through right now."
"My mother lost a husband. While she mourns for his death, she has to work harder to earn for the five children she now has to single-handedly support," added Mika.
While Mika said that she could work to help support her siblings, she told Aquino that she had no choice but "to focus on helping seek justice for my father."
"We are ordinary Filipinos Mr. President and all we ask is a fair shake, a fair chance at justice by bringing the perpetrators to court. Please help us get that fair chance," she said.