Politics

OSG asks SC to lift TRO, wants ex-Palawan guv rearrested for Ortega slay

OSG wants Reyes rearrested

Former Palawan Governor Mario Joel Reyes (File picture from Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) is asking the Supreme Court (SC) to have former Palawan governor Mario Joel Reyes rearrested by lifting the March 23, 2022 short-term restraining order (TRO) on the Puerto Princesa City regional trial courtroom (RTC) which stopped it from imposing Reyes’ warrant of arrest.

Reyes, alongside together with his brother and eight different suspects, have been charged with the homicide of one among his staunch critics in Palawan, broadcaster Dr. Gerry Ortega, who was gunned down in a thrift store close to his veterinary clinic on this metropolis on Jan. 24, 2011. Reyes can be operating for governor of Palawan within the upcoming elections.

In a movement contained in its 64-page remark, the OSG reiterated that the Puerto Princesa RTC’s warrant of arrest in opposition to Reyes is “supported by legal and jurisprudential basis rather than arbitrary and unfounded conclusions.”

“And there is now a finding of strong evidence of petitioner’s guilt, there is no invasion — much less a material and substantial invasion — of petitioner’s right should he be ordered re-arrested and should the proceedings in Criminal Case No. 26839 (Reyes’ criminal case) continue,” the OSG added.

“For these reasons, including the relevant arguments raised earlier in the Comment, respondent People most respectfully moves for the lifting of the TRO issued by this Honorable Court,” the OSG additional stated.

This remark was made after Reyes obtained a short lived restraining order (TRO) from the Supreme Court on March 23 in opposition to a warrant of arrest issued by a Palawan courtroom in July 2021 in reference to Ortega’s homicide.

However, the OSG said that Reyes was not entitled to a TRO or a writ of preliminary injunction as a result of his constitutional rights weren’t violated in the course of the trial courtroom and CA proceedings.

“A TRO or a writ of preliminary injunction may be issued upon the concurrence of the following essential requisites, to wit: invasion of the right sought to be protected is material and substantial; the right of the complainant is clear and unmistakable; and there is an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage,” the OSG stated.

“As an accused charged before the trial court, there is no dispute that petitioner has the constitutional right to due process. However, petitioner’s right to due process has not been violated nor will it be violated by his re-arrest and by the continued prosecution of Criminal Case No. 26839,” it identified.

The OSG additional said that the RTC had “clear basis” for the warrant of arrest in opposition to Reyes, including it “has, in turn, been affirmed by the Court of Appeals in its decision dated July 9, 2021.”

“With due respect to this Honorable Court, these consistent findings by the RTC and the Court of Appeals superseded and mooted the issue of probable cause,” it added.

Ortega was killed by a lone assailant. The arrested gunman, Marlon Recamata, was sentenced to life in jail.

Recamata admitted that he was employed to kill Ortega by Rodolfo Edrad Jr., a former close-in safety of Reyes.

The gun recovered from Recamata was additionally registered to a sure Romeo Seratubias who served as provincial administrator when Reyes was then governor of Palawan.

RELATED STORY:

9 years after doctor-radioman Gerry Ortega’s homicide, NUJP nonetheless pushing for justice

/MUF

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