Green group to CA: Uphold arrest warrants vs Reyes brothers

KALIKASAN Partylist today joined supporters of the Ortega family in a picket this morning at the Court of Appeals (CA) in Manila.

The protesters urged the CA to uphold the arrest warrants earlier issued by the Puerto Princesa Regional Trial Court (RTC) against ex-Palawan governor Joel Reyes and Coron Mayor Mario Reyes.

The Lower Court should stand by the side of justice by not letting the Reyes brothers literally walk away with murder and by ensuring that those responsible for Dr. Ortega’s murder are put behind bars for this crime, Kalikasan said in a statement.

The Reyes brothers earlier filed a petition at the CA’s 7th and 15th divisions, asking to stop the Puerto Princesa RTC from implementing the arrest warrants against them and drop the murder charges. A separate petition for judicial review is pending at the CA’s 15th Division by Mario Reyes, one of the co-accused, questioning the DOJ’s charges of murder.

Kalikasan Partylist noted a disturbing trend in the country’s human rights record, where those responsible for the murders of environmental advocates and activists still roam free even as more people are being assassinated for protecting the environment.

The Reyes brothers have reportedly fled the country last March 18 aboard a Cebu Pacific Flight 5J751 bound to Vietnam, using aliases and tampered documents. This came shortly after a DOJ panel on March 12 found probable cause to charge the brothers, former Marinduque Gov. Jose Antonio Carrion, Arturo Regalado, Atty. Romeo Serratubias, and Percival Lecias with murder.

The Reyes brothers’ alleged escape from the country must be probed by the Department of Justice and Foreign Affairs, and must be met with further corresponding criminal cases against the two fugitives, Kalikasan added.

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