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Controversial ex-Palawan guv files COC

Republika

Despite being a prime suspect in a decade-long murder investigation, ex-Palawan Governor Joel Reyes has filed his certificate of candidacy (COC), seeking to reclaim his former political position in the upcoming 2022 gubernatorial race.


On January 24, 2011, prominent environmental advocate and RMN Palawan radio broadcaster Gerardo “Gerry” Ortega was brutally gunned down in a thrift shop located close to his own veterinary clinic.


Prior to his death, Ortega had done numerous corruption exposés on local officials, accusing then-governor Reyes of misusing the funds obtained from the operation of the Malampaya gas and oil fields near the province’s coastal area.


Although gunman Marlon Dichavez Recamata was arrested and sentenced to life in prison on May 7, 2013, Reyes and his brother, former Coron Town Mayor Mario Reyes, were suspected of ordering the killing.


Reyes’ former security aide, Rodolfo Edrad Jr., was the one who implicated his former employer.


The Reyes brothers were in hiding for three years prior to their capture on September 20, 2015, at Phuket, Thailand.


In 2019 the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed its previous decision and dismissed the murder charges, though Joel Reyes remained incarcerated due to a graft conviction up until April of this year.


On July 14, however, Judge Angelo Arizala of Branch 52 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Palawan issued a brand new arrest warrant for Reyes.
Vice Governor hopeful Rolando Bonoan Jr., Reyes’ running mate, stated that Reyes has no intention of fleeing the charges set against him, but intends to continue fighting.


Meanwhile, Joel’s brother Mario also filed his COC in an attempt to gain a third term as Coron’s mayor.

PHOTO: Philippine Star


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