Former Palawan Governor Joel T. Reyes was released from jail Friday afternoon after the Court of Appeals reportedly ruled to quash the charges against him for involvement as suspected mastermind in the 2011 murder of broadcast journalist Dr. Gerry Ortega.
The release of Reyes was confirmed by his legal counsel Atty. Demetrio Custodio and in local radio interviews by jail warden Lito Soriano. Custodio claimed that Reyes was released from City Jail at 5:40 pm Friday.
“According to the CA decision, the Court of Appeals has ruled that the RTC has no basis to continue with the trial. Mali ang filing ng RTC. RTC should stop the hearing of the case,” Custodio said.
The family of Ortega has yet to issue a statement on the development.
Ortega, a primetime commentator in DWAR RMN Palawan, was murdered in January 2011. Reyes was implicated in the murder as suspected mastermind following an investigation by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Reyes, however, escaped from the country following his indictment and while the case was on trial at the Palawan Regional Trial Court. He was arrested in Phuket, Thailand by the Thai police in 2015 and brought to Palawan along with his brother and former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes who went with him to hiding.
(with reports from Ruth Rodriguez)