The latest news in Eastern Visayas region

Follow samarnews on Twitter

more news...

2 wanted persons for murder arrested

Visayas provincial legislators confab puts premium on education and employment concerns as subjects of legislation

Free Ericson Acosta now!

Preliminary works now ongoing for MCC road project in Samar

Dawning of the vultures of freedom and democracy!

NPA terrorizes Lapinig town, kills the mayor’s security detail and wounds an innocent civilian

Barangay LGUs urged to tap 70% out of 5% calamity fund for disaster preparedness

UN Official: Philippine Law on Anti-Corporal Punishment could be First in Asia







A year after Palawan broadcaster’s killing

Prosecute Ortega’s killers now, human rights groups say

January 24, 2012

QUEZON CITY  –  “Dr. Gerry Ortega had the interest of the people of Palawan at heart and he died defending them. The Aquino government can do no less than give Dr. Ortega the justice he and the people deserve.”

This was the message brought by human rights advocates and families of victims of human rights violations at the Department of Justice today on the first year of the killing of Palawan broadcaster Gerry Ortega.

Meanwhile, Ortega’s wife, Patty, and their four children are in Palawan for a Mass held in Ortega’s grave. There will also be a candlelighting activity in the afternoon.

“Ang bagal ng hustisya sa Pilipinas. Isang taon na, nag-uumapaw ang ebidensya, hindi pa rin masampahan ng kaso ang itinuturong mastermind sa pagpatay kay Daddy (Justice is too slow. Amid overwhelming evidence, a year after, a case has yet to be filed against the mastermind in Daddy’s killing),” said Micaella Ortega, eldest daughter of Ortega.

Criticizing the continued delay of the release of a DOJ resolution, Hustisya, organization of victims of human rights violations, said they are disappointed that a strong case such as that of Ortega remains unsolved after 12 months.

“Not all cases have the same strong evidence against the mastermind and Ortega’s killers. We have hoped that the evidence presented in Ortega’s killing may speed up the resolution of the case. However, the snail-paced progress of the prosecution further perpetuates impunity because the perpetrators remain on the loose,” Hustisya secretary general Cristina Guevarra said.

At the DOJ preliminary investigation, the gunman and the other suspects involved have implicated former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes in Ortega’s killing. In the first preliminary investigation, however, Reyes was not included in the respondents of the case. The family then appealed for a reinvestigation of the case, seeking to include Reyes.

“We need to prosecute criminals such as those implicated in the case of Dr. Ortega. They do not only kill environmental defenders. With their greed to further profit themselves at the expense of the environment, they destroy and kill more people.” she said.

Apart from being involved in corruption issues in the province such as the misuse of Malampaya funds, and his connection with former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Reyes is also known to promote mining in the province, which Ortega and the people of Palawan have strongly opposed.

“If the Aquino government can hasten the impeachment of a crony of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the Supreme Court, it should by all means do the same in prosecuting all her other minions,” Guevarra concluded.