Baka tumakas na naman! Ombudsman urges Sandiganbayan: Jail ex-gov Joel Reyes

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The Office of the Ombudsman continues to prod the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division to order the detention of former Palawan governor Joel Reyes even if his conviction in a graft case is still under appeal.

“Aside from this conviction, the accused is a flight risk,”said the prosecution team of the Ombudsman pointed out in its latest pleading.

“The denial or revocation of bail becomes imperative,” it stressed.

The prosecution reminded the Sandiganbayan that Reyes and his brother, former Coron mayor Mario Reyes, fled the country in 2012 after the Puerto Princesa regional trial court (RTC) issued arrest warrants against them over a murder case concerning the death of broadcaster Gerry Ortega.

It said Reyes brothers only returned to the Philippines after authorities in Thailand arrested them in Phuket, Thailand in September 2015.

The Sandiganbayan had sentenced Reyes to a maximum of eight years imprisonment back in August 2017 after finding him guilty of graft.

Under the graft case, Reyes issued a small-scale mining permit to Olympic Mines and Development Corporation (OMDC) from April 6, 2006 to April 5, 2008 even though the firm mined and extracted the annual maximum of 50,000 dry metric tons of ore set in its previous permit.

Since the conviction is under appeal, the Sandiganbayan allowed Reyes bail.

Reyes was freed from detention on January 5 after the Court of Appeals (CA) granted his appeal and cleared him of the murder case he is facing before a Palawan RTC over the murder of Ortega.