Family of slain journalist Gerry Ortega seek tight security on hospitalized suspect Joel Reyes

The family of murdered journalist and good governance advocate Gerardo Ortega demanded tight security on one of the alleged masterminds, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, who has been hospitalized for acute gastroenteritis and is asking to be transferred to a hospital in Metro Manila. The Ortegas, in a statement, cited the escape of Reyes and his brother Mario, former mayor of Coron town, from the country in 2012, which “out a halt on the wheels of justice for more than three years.” The brothers were eventually arrested in Thailand and deported back to the country last year to be tried for the murder of Ortega.

The Ortega family said they had been informed that Reyes was rushed to a Palawan hospital Christmas Eve. They said their lawyers “interposed no objection” to Reyes’ request to undergo tests for chest pains at St. Luke’s Global in Taguig City for at least three days “provided that security to and from Manila is adequate and that he will immediately be brought back to the Puerto Princesa City Jail thereafter.” “Our family implores the authorities to please guarantee tight security in order for proper court proceedings to continue,” they added. Ortega was gunned down in January 2011 by a team of hired killers who later named the Reyes brothers as the ones who ordered the hit on the broadcaster, who had been railing against corruption in the island province.
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