PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines - One of the principal suspects in the murder of broadcaster Gerry Ortega has been allowed to post bail.
In a ruling released Monday, July 8, Regional Trial Court Branch 52 Judge Angelo Arizala granted the bail petition of Romeo Seratubias, the owner of the licensed pistol that was allegedly used in the shooting of Ortega in this city in January 2011. The bail is P300,000.
Seratubias is one of the two major suspects who are detained at the Palawan provincial jail. The suspected masterminds, former Palawan governor Joel T. Reyes and his brother Mario, are still at large.
In his defense, Seratubias claimed innocence, saying that he had already sold the gun prior to its use in the murder. While he was implicated by the main state witness in the case, Reyes' former bodyguard Rodolfo Edrad, Jr., Judge Arizala said there has been no corroborating evidence of Seratubias' direct participation in the murder.
Arizala ruled against the bail petition of the other detained suspect, Arturo Regalado, citing strong evidence in his alleged role as coordinator of the hired killers who stalked and ambushed Ortega.
Patria Gloria Ortega, wife of the victim said the family "still believes in the judicial system to eventually convict all those responsible."
Gerry Ortega was a prominent broadcaster and environmentalist who exposed corruption in the province. - Rappler.com
Glenda Gloria is the managing editor of Rappler and one of its co-founders. A journalist for three decades now, Glenda has been a reporter for newspapers, magazines, and wire agencies, and has run print, online, and TV newsrooms. She is a Nieman Fellow at Harvard, Class 2018 .