Reyes woes not yet over, Ombudsman seeks re-arrest

Ombudsman is asking Sandiganbayan to arrest anew former governor Joel Reyes

Five days after being released from Puerto Princesa City jail, the Ombudsman has asked the Sandiganbayan to arrest anew former governor Joel Reyes in connection with his conviction on various graft cases where he had already been convicted.

A 3-page omnibus motion addressed to the 3rd division of the anti-graft court sought the cancellation of the former governor’s bail bond amounting to P60,000 after he was found guilty of graft by the Sandiganbayan last August 2017.

Reyes had been sentenced to 6 – 8 years imprisonment for allowing Olympic Mines and Development Corp., a small-scale mining company to extract ore in Palawan years ago. The Ombudsman’s order also called Reyes “a fugitive”, pointing out that the latter fled the country to his indictment in the Gerry Ortega murder case.

“It will be recalled that Reyes was a fugitive. He, together with his brother, was arrested in Thailand. Had it not been for the intervention of Thai authorities, accused Reyes would not have been deported to face the criminal charges against him,” the order said.

“Considering accused Reyes’ previous record, and to prevent its recurrence, the cancellation of his bail and his immediate commitment to prison is warranted,” the Ombudsman argued.

Reyes’ counsel, Atty. Demeterio Custodio, said in a phone interview Wednesday they will counter the motion raised by the Ombudsman pertaining to the graft case.

Custodio also scored Presidential spokesman Harry Roque’s statement following the release order on Reyes by the Court of Appeals.

“Hindi na dapat maki-sali si Harry Roque. It is unfair to give his personal opinion because he’s already a public official as this may sway the judiciary,” Custodio said.

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