Gov't to probe alleged special treatment of Reyes brothers

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang said Sunday, September 27, that it will investigate reports of special treatment given to former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and former Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, suspected masterminds of the 2011 murder of journalist Gerardo "Gerry" Ortega.

According to a report from the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Reyes brothers held a press conference with reporters in Puerto Princesa City despite being under detention. The press conference was held in an office in the city jail, lasting an hour. It was also aired live by some Palawan radio stations.

Puerto Princesa jail warden Supt. Don Paredes said he allowed former governor Reyes to do so as he had requested permission to speak to journalists covering the Reyes brothers' arrival in Puerto Princesa.

Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) agents earlier refused to let the Reyes speak to reporters upon the brothers' arrival at Puerto Princesa International Airport.

In an interview over government radio station dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr., said the "The DOJ (Department of Justice) and the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) are looking into this matter and will take the necessary action, including the possible filing of appropriate cases against those involved."

"Moreover, the Reyes brothers are detention prisoners; hence, only the court where the case is pending can issue the necessary permission. As to the request for hospital arrest, Secretary (Leila) de Lima has stated the government’s opposition to any such motion," Coloma added.

The Reyes brothers were arrested in Thailand on September 20 for overstaying. –