Three main accused in Ortega murder case snub DOJ reinvestigation

October 6, 2011 10:34 pm 

MANILA, Oct. 6 – Three principal accused in the murder of environmentalist and Palawan radio broadcaster Dr. Gerry Ortega failed to show up during the first day of the reinvestigation of the case conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday.

Former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, former Marinduque Governor Jose "Bong" Carreon and former Coron, Palawan Mayor Mario Reyes were nowhere to be found during the reinvestigation.

Only the legal counsels of the accused appeared before the newly-created DOJ panel of prosecutors headed by Assistant State Prosecutor Stewart Allan Mariano.

During the hearing, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, legal counsel of former Governor Reyes, questioned the jurisdiction of the panel as the Reyes' camp has pending petition before the Court of Appeals (CA) seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the DOJ from proceeding with the reinvestigation of the Ortega murder case.

Topacio said that the former DOJ panel had ruled that the prosecution failed to directly link his client with the commission of the crime.

On the other hand, Atty. Alex Avisado, legal counsel of the Ortega family, maintained that the reinvestigation should proceed because of the surfacing of new pieces of evidence.

The new panel gave the respondents a period of five days within which to file their motion to defer the investigation.

Likewise, the complainants were also given a period of five days within which to submit their comment.

The next hearing was set on October 20, 2011.

Among those who appeared during the reinvestigation were respondents Rodolfo Edrad, also among the alleged masterminds; Marlon Ricamata, the alleged gunman; and Dennis Aranas, as well as Erica, the daughter of Doc Gerry; and running priest Fr. Robet Reyes. (PNA)



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