Bishop lauds Reyes brothers’ arrest

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Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro Arigo (left) with Mika Ortega, daughter of slain broadcaster and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega, during a press conference in Manila in 2012.

MANILA, Sept. 22, 2015 — The arrest of two politicians brings fresh hopes that the family and friends of slain anti-corruption advocate may achieve justice, says a bishop.

“It [brings] a sigh of relief,” Puerto Princesa Bishop Pedro Arigo said. “Because we know that influential people can get away scot-free even with crimes like murder.”

With the arrest, he said, there is an opportunity to make former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother Mario, a former town mayor, accountable for the charges filed against them for the murder of environmentalist and journalist Gerry Ortega in 2011.

The Reyes brothers were arrested in Thailand on Sunday.

The prelate said it is high time the Reyes brothers face the charges and prove their innocence in court.

The two went missing in 2012 after an arrest warrant was issued for them.

President Benigno Aquino II also offered a hefty Php 2 million reward for the arrest of the murder suspects.

The bishop is hoping the government will “speed up the process” to prosecute the Reyes brothers.

According to him, there is enough evidence that would link the two to the killing of Ortega who strongly accused them of corruption.

“I hope that the trial will be fair and just,” Arigo said. (R. Lagarde / CBCPNews)

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