Former Palawan governor Joel T. Reyes is set to surrender to authorities anytime today (Monday). This, following an arrest order issued by the Sandiganbayan which had held him guilty of corruption.
Reyes’ counsel, lawyer Demetrio Custodio, also dashed concerns earlier raised by government prosecutors, stating categorically that Reyes intends to surrender.
“Yes, the governor will surrender,” Custodio said in text message reply to Palawan News.
“We’re already making arrangements for his surrender. I cannot discuss the specific details yet,” he added.
Sandiganbayan trashes Reyes’ plea
The anti-graft court on Monday released its ruling denying Reyes’ motion for reconsideration following a January 17 decision it issued which canceled his bail and ordered his arrest.
“Accused Reyes failed to show any cogent reason to reverse or modify the Decision dated August 29, 2017, finding him guilty of violation of Section 3(e), R.A No. 3019,” said the decision penned by Associate Justice Sarah Jane Fernandez and concurred by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang and Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez.
Reyes will be facing 6-8 years in detention for graft conviction in relation to favors he gave a mining company when he was governor.
He had been ordered released recently by the Court of Appeal (CA) in relation to the murder charge he was facing for the 2011 murder of Palawan journalist and anti-graft crusader Dr. Gerry Ortega.
Government prosecutors have appealed the CA ruling and have petitioned Reyes’s re-arrest over the graft cases he is also facing. (with reports from Ruth Rodriguez)