Philippines most wanted: No let-up in Hunt for fugitives Reyes, Palparan, Ecleo
Manila - A widow, her daughters and a son, and, locals mostly vollenteers are counting on donations raised by locals - some as little as a few dollars - Each added into a fund. The money used for private prosecutors, information drives, wanted posters, and now a reward fund. All in the search for justice for a slain environmental activist.
The quest, is for justice versus a accused mastermind and his cohorts. The crime, the murder of a man who spoke out in life to raise awareness versus graft and corruption and abuse of the environment. in death, he succeeded in uniting many versus corruption, abuse, and. environmental destruction on Palawan island. Far more so than those out to silence his voice had hoped. Now, the accused former and a current offical in the case are the subject of a nationwide manhunt.
Dr. Gerardo Ortega, was murdered on January 24th 2011. In front of his wife's office. while he was shopping for shoes at a discount clothing store.
He had just come from daily radio broadcast where he had been exposing corruption cases versus officals and abuse of the environment by mining companies.
After long drawn out investigation, the strongest case versus suspects in media related killing was thought to be headed to trial. But three among the principals accused remain at large.
One a current mayor of a small town on a island - the other his brother a former governor and defeated congressional candidate.
Joel and Mario Reyes according the spokesman of Philippine President Aquino are top priorities in governments assurance of bringing current and former high pofile accused officals before the courts.
How the might have fallen: Reyes and his political backer both face charges
Joel Reyes, was once known as the most popular governor in the Philippines. A official of the influential governors league and a favortie of former president Gloria Arroyo.
Both now are in the limelight still but not as high officals - however facing charges of graft and electoral fraud for Arroyo - and - murder charges as well as cases before the anti-graft ombudsman for Ex-governor Reyes.
Reyes not only shares the fate of Arroyo but the same lawyers who defend him are also legal councils for the former president who is in custody at a government hospital. Reyes remains at large and has been declared a fugitive.
Reyes was accused of masterminding the killing of environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega. The family of Ortega, led by his widow has launched a online campaign to bring the suspects in his case to justice.
Reward grows to 1.5 million for information leading to Reyes brothers arrest
"We believe the reward will reach 1.5 million pesos shortly" Patricia Ortega told radio listeners in a local broadcast in Palawan. "We raised the money from donations and support from people." a number of offers of support and information continue to flow in as well as local resident donating funds to support the family sponsored reward campaign.
"Surrender, face the charges - let the law you swore to uphold in your oaths of office show you as men" a sign written in the local language says another called the accused "cowards for hiding, Only the guilty hide." The banners near a memorial to the late broadcaster-environmentalist calling for justice say in Aborlan town in Palawan
"There is no let-up in the search for high profile fugitives and to bring these persons to the bar of justice," Philippine Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda on Thursday told journalists in a media briefing.
The Philippine Government on both local and national levels as well as working with regional law enforcement partners will not stop until the long arm of the law reaches top tree "most wanted ex-officals" alleged murder and human rights cases.
"We in government and the people as a whole have reached the limit of patience - they were all once elected officials who swore to uphold the law. Now they hide? It casts doubts on their claims of innocence." Lacierdia said in the tagalog dialect.
Warrants of arrest were issued against former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, former military official Jovito Palparan and Ruben Ecleo of Dumagat Island.
"Party list to most wanted list" former General sought as well
Palparan was charged for several human rights violations while Ecleo was convicted Friday last week for killing his wife.
Lacierda said the arrest of the fugitives, while facing charges in court, had been given incentives with bounties in exchange for any information leading to their arrest. Tracker teams, he said, were already dispatched to look for them.
Lacierda and Undersecretary Abigail Valte of the Presidential Communications and Development Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO) based in Malacañang, who are working directly under the office of President Benigno Aquino III, are here today for the PCDSPO Western Visayas roadshow.
The two officials said the President is aware of the issues and charges against the three fugitives and believes on the rule of law. They said the courts would eventually render its decision against these persons who have committed heinous crimes.
Lacierda said that coddlers of the fugitives may also face charges amid reports that some politicians and other influential persons are helping them elude arrest.
Tags: Palawan , Philippines , El Nido , Puerto Princesa City , Gerry Ortega Case , Murder , Fugitive Governor ,
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