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Reyeses’ hospital arrest rejected

THE Department of Justice has vowed to oppose the plan of former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes to seek hospital arrest while they are being tried for their alleged involvement in the murder of broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega in 2011.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima disclosed that she instructed prosecutors handling the case to  vigorously oppose any move by the Reyes camp before the Puerto Princesa City Regional Trial Court, Branch 52, for hospital detention.

Reyes brothers

“First of all, there is no basis for that hospital detention or arrest. Also, that move has been abused many times. That should stop already,” De Lima said, in an interview.

“There are a lot of ordinary prisoners, whether in detention or convicted prisoners, with health problems also but are not accorded hospital arrest. Only a privileged few are granted that. Enough of that because it is making a mockery of our justice system,” De Lima added.

She also stressed that the DoJ will strongly oppose moves of the Reyes brothers to delay the trial or seek bail.

“If there are moves on the part of the counsels to derail, delay or postpone the arraignment, our guidance to the prosecutor is to oppose such moves,” De Lima said.

As to the bail issue, De Lima pointed out that “murder is a non-bailable offense… Almost all accused in non-bailable cases apply for bail, but it has to go through the right process. Bail cannot be granted without sufficient basis.”

De Lima also revealed that the RTC has set the arraignment of the Reyes brothers on Oct. 2, at   8:30 a.m.

The Reyes brothers, who were accused of masterminding the murder of Ortega, were arrested in Thailand last week after three years in hiding.


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