Suspect in Ortega slay case dies

Posted at 09/11/2012 10:03 AM | Updated as of 09/11/2012 6:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – One of the suspects in the murder of environmental activist and radio broadcaster Dr. Gerry Ortega died before dawn Tuesday.

Valentin "Percival" Lecias, who has long been suffering from a liver disease, died at the Ospital ng Palawan at around 4:30 a.m., his jail guards said.

He was brought to the hospital last Thursday, September 6, after his condition worsened.

Lecias, who was arrested last May 6 in Pasig City, was the alleged buyer of the gun used by another suspect, Marlon Recamata, to kill Ortega.

The gun originally belonged to former Palawan provincial administrator Atty. Romeo Serratubias, who is also now with authorities.

Lecias was the security aide of primary suspect, former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes. He was also allegedly the official photographer of Palawan Vice Governor Clara Reyes, the wife of the former governor.

Other suspects in the crime include Reyes' brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, and Arturo Regalado.

Among all the suspects, only the Reyes brothers remain at large. Some fear that they have already fled the country. - with reports from Romy Luzares, dzMM; and Edinel Magtibay, ABS-CBN News Palawan