Former Palawan governor Joel Reyes on Thursday gave assurances that he will not leave the country as the Office of the Ombudsman pushed the Sandiganbayan to commit the former official to jail.
Anywhere, while the prosecution is asking the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division to cancel his bail and is seeking his immediate commitment to prison “in view of his conviction” of graft in connection with the renewal of a firm’s small scale mining permit (SSMP) in 2006.
“Hindi naman po ako aalis, andito po ako. Naniniwala po ako sa rule of law at nakakalungkot nga po dahil kalalabas ko lang ho ng kulungan doon ho sa isang kasong napakabigat e nagpapasalamat din po ako doon sa Court of Appeals, nakalabas po ako. E bakit naman po ako tatakbo? Andito po ako para harapin ang kasong ito (I am not leaving, I am here. I believe in the rule of law and I am sad because I just got out of jail but thanks to the Court of Appeals, I was able to get out. Why should I flee? I am here to face this case,”)” he told reporters in part in an interview at the Sandiganbayan.
Reyes was released from the Puerto Princesa City Jail on January 5 after the Court of Appeals granted his petition that challenged the Puerto Princesa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 52’s finding of probable cause in the murder case which was filed against him in connection with the death in 2011 of environmentalist and broadcaster Gerry Ortega, according to his lawyer Demetrio Custodio.
On Thursday, Reyes attended the hearing on the prosecution’s plea for the cancelation of his bail and his immediate commitment to prison.