Gov't to offer reward for arrest of ex-Palawan governor
MANILA, Philippines - The government would give a reward for the immediate arrest of former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and other suspects in the murder of environmentalist and radio broadcaster Gerry Ortega.
That is, if authorities would have difficulty tracking them down, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said on Sunday, April 1.
A warrant of arrest was issued on Tuesday, March 27, against Reyes and 7 others for killing Ortega, a veterinarian and radio commentator who had accused the former governor of corruption. Ortega was shot dead on Jan. 24, 2011 in Puerto Princesa, Palawan.
Reyes, who remains at large, has rejected calls for his surrender. Instead, he released an audio message to followers insisting he is an innocent man.
"It has happened in the past when the initial efforts failed to effect the arrest," Valte said.
Reyes and his group were given until the weekend to surrender. Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda explained that the government will enforce the warrant of arrest if he fails to show up.
"It’s maybe out of deference for his being a former governor and hopefully that as a government official he will be responsible enough to face the courts and surrender voluntarily," Lacierda said.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo had sent out teams to track down Reyes and his cohorts. - Rappler.com