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MANILA, Philippines -- Joseph Lim Pe, believed to be former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes, is in Phuket, Thailand, Immigration Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. confirmed Wednesday.
He said based on information they received, Lim Pe, who left Manila on March 18 for Vietnam, only stayed in Saigon for a couple of days before he traveled to Phuket.
“As far as Immigration is concerned he (Lim Pe) is in Phuket. He left once and went to Malaysia but he went back to Phuket,” David said.
However, the BI chief is not certain if Lim Pe is really Reyes, although earlier reports say Pe left together with Coron Mayor Mario Reyes and their lawyer.
The Reyes brothers are wanted for allegedly masterminding the murder of Palawan broadcaster Gerardo Ortega in January last year.
They left the country nine days before a Palawan trial court issued a warrant for their arrest.
“Based on the passport, one would not see Joel Reyes because he is not using that name. Joseph Lim Pe went to Vietnam … The confirmation is in the picture. I believe, I am about 70 percent confident, that he is Joel Reyes from the picture but we did not see the real person,” David said.
Asked if the BI has coordinated with Thai authorities, David said this is no longer an Immigration matter but a police issue.
The Reyes brothers are on the “red list” of the Interpol.
He gave assurances they are willing to coordinate on who will be in charge of pursuing the former Palawan official.
On Tuesday, Ortega’s eldest daughter, Michaella, filed a complaint against the former Palawan governor before the Pasay City prosecutor’s office for violating the Philippine Passport Act of 1996, an offense punishable by six to 15 years in prison.