Reyes lawyer: No due process in arrest warrant

Posted at 03/28/12 2:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The lawyer of former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes is questioning the issuance of an arrest warrant against his client.

In an interview on ANC, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said the release of the arrest warrant was premature.

He also hit the Justice department's reinvestigation into the killing of Palawan broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega last year.

“With all due respect…we consider it strange it was issued before the proceeding for the motion to defer, which we filed, had been termnated…The prosecution was given until April 1 to give its rejoinder to a reply in connection with the issue of whether or not the proceeding should be deferred,” he said.

He said the motion should have been deemed for resolution only after April.

“We have been at the receiving end of some blatant violation of procedural laws...starting with the reinvestigation ordered by the Department of Justice…We feel we are persecuted,” he said.

The Palawan Regional Trial Court issued yesterday a warrant of arrest against Reyes and several others.

One of the suspects, Palawan provincial administrator Atty. Romeo Seratubias, was arrested on Tuesday night.

Seratubias was the alleged owner of the gun used by another suspect, Rolando Edrad alias Bumar, in the killing of Ortega in an “ukay-ukay” (thrift store) in Puerto Princesa City , Palawan last January 24, 2011. – with a report from ANC