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MANILA, Philippines – Joel T. Reyes, the former governor of Palawan, and his brother Mario who is Coron town mayor, are now the subject of an Interpol Red Notice, which means law enforcers worldwide are on alert that they are fugitives from Philippine law, where they are accused in the murder of broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega.
“The Ortega family would foremost like to express our gratitude to the Interpol for granting our request for the inclusion of the Reyes brothers in the Interpol Red Notice. While speculations arose that the brothers have left the country illegally, this development surely gives us much hope that eventually they will be captured and tried in the court of law,” a statement emailed from Mika Ortega, the slain journalist’s eldest daughter, said Wednesday.
“It has almost been 2 months since they have been considered as fugitives of the law here in the country. Now, they are seen as fugitives by the international community as well,” added Mika.
She affirmed the family’s call for the brothers to surrender immediately and peacefully. “The mere fact that they remain as fugitives to this day--international fugitives at that--does not do anything to convince our family and the people of the Philippines of their innocence.”
Like guilt, innocence “can only be proven before the court of law. And our family will not stop until the perpetrators of my father's murder are behind bars,” added Mika.
Ortega was gunned down in broad daylight nearly two years ago at the height of his continued on-air exposes about alleged anomalies in Palawan province, especially noting a Commission on Audit report on alleged misuse of billions in the province's share in government royalty for the Malampaya gas field.