Photo courtesy from Justice for Dr. Gerry Ortega Facebook page.

The family of slain broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega has welcomed the Court of Appeals (CA) decision to continue the murder trial of former Palawan governor Joel T. Reyes.

Michaella “Mika” Ortega on Saturday said that the Ortega family appreciated the appeals court decision citing that hearing the case is the only thing they wanted from the very beginning.

“Ever since we started, we were single minded that we needed to see it through in the court for almost nine years of legal battles. What the other side just keep on doing is derail or postpone the trial,” Mika said.

She also slammed Reyes’ defense for “keeping on derailing the trial” prolonging the alleged murder case which is about to mark its 9th year on January 24, 2020.

“We have to go through this for the second round going up and up because of the appeals. Let the RTC handle it and figure it out. They hop on technicalities after technicalities when the only thing we want is for the hearing to continue—for the witnesses to be heard and for the evidence to be looked at,” she added.

Meanwhile, lawyer Demetrio Custodio Jr., defense counsel, confirmed that a motion for reconsideration (MR) was filed to reverse the reversal.

“All they have are circumstantial evidence but they can’t definitively prove their accusation kaya nga it was dismissed by [Associate] Justice Pizzaro on the first CA ruling. Hopefully, the Court will grant our Motion [for Reconsideration], pero if not, may Supreme Court pa naman,” Custodio said.

Mika Ortega contended that “powerful people enables an environment of impunity” pointing out that speaking truth to power is the way to go.

“Based on what we’ve seen recently on the Maguindanao case, is that justice goes beyond conviction. We want that for our dad, too. We know that it will not bring him back but we wanted to add meaning to his death. It was very clear that there was an enabling environment that made it easy and encouraging for powerful people to kill who they want to kill. We want to make sure that the environment is changing, and that reforms are being made—that we fight back to the powerful and tell them that they can’t just kill who they want to kill,” she said.