Saturday, 31 March 2012 11:18
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines is aghast that Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo has decided to allow former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother Mario Jr., mayor of Coron, until the end of the week to surrender before he will consider ordering a manhunt for the two primary suspects in the murder of our colleague Gerardo Ortega.
What Robredo is in effect doing is ordering law enforcement agencies not to obey the lawful order of the Palawan regional trial court to place the Reyes brothers under arrest and stand trial for the Ortega murder.
What right does he have, what authority, to openly issue such an order in defiance of our laws?
Surely Robredo knows that our law enforcers are in possession of the warrants, having already served one on former Palawan provincial administrator Romeo Seratubias.
Neither can we imagine that Robredo is unaware that every day the warrants are not served increases the chances of the Reyes brothers escaping justice, either by actual flight or by allowing their lawyers to delay their arrest and trial.
This perversion of the law betrays this government's promises of justice as a lie, that the notion of speedy justice under this administration is reserved only for those it disagrees with, while those in its favor can get away with, literally, murder.
We demand that all law enforcement agencies ignore this clearly illegal order of Robredo's and fulfill their sworn duty by arresting the Reyes brothers.
We demand that Secretary Robredo be immediately investigated and sanctioned for this clear betrayal of his office and of the public trust.
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