Joel Reyes appears to the public for the first time in several years after getting a reprieve from the high court. (PN file photo)

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines today issued a statement expressing concern over the temporary restraining order (TRO) granted by the Supreme Court on the arrest warrant of former Palawan governor Joel T. Reyes.

The journalists’ union said that while Reyes is entitled to legal remedies, it is a “big blow in the fight against impunity”.

“That he remained free despite a July 2021 warrant for his arrest already shows that Reyes still has power and influence, and this recent development gives him even more of that,” read part of the statement.

The Supreme Court Second Division on March 23 issued a Temporary Restraining Order on an arrest warrant for the former Palawan governor that allowed Joel Reyes to start his campaign.

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“[H]is bid to return to the provincial capitol is a further challenge to achieving justice in the 11-year-old case,” the statement added.

Reyes has previously questioned the 2019 reinstatement of the case by the Court of Appeals, which also ordered the Regional Trial Court to issue a warrant of arrest and proceed with trial.

The NUJP also said that even though the news about Ortega’s death was sad, they will still fight for justice.

“NUJP and the rest of the media community will not stop until all perpetrators, masterminds included, are held accountable,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Ortega’s family, friends, and colleagues in the journalism community have been waiting more than a decade for justice in a case that has featured an international manhunt from 2011 to 2015 and this recent episode of Reyes evading the warrant before the TRO was granted.

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is a desk editor and senior reporter of Palawan News. He covers politics, environment, tourism, justice, and sports. In his free time, he enjoys long walks with his dog, Bayani.