Aquino’s real attitude re Ortega case revealed

It is fitting that the Senate blue ribbon committee, last Jan. 24, began an inquiry into the murder (exactly two years back), of our colleague, Puerto Princesa City’s Doc Gerry Ortega: specifically whether it was linked to his crusade against the corruption that surrounded the use—or more aptly, misuse—of Palawan’s billions of pesos of royalties from the Malampaya Gas Project.

Ortega’s killing, like that of Marlene Esperat and many more of our 154 colleagues murdered in the country since 1986, is proof of how media killings and corruption are inextricably entwined and how government’s failure—or refusal—to act speedily to collar and prosecute those who order these heinous crimes, continues to feed the culture of impunity that has characterized the continued bloodshed that has claimed not only journalists but many more victims from other sectors—activists, farmers, indigenous people, lawyers, judges, religious, etc.

In the case of Ortega, his outspoken criticism of the corruption surrounding the use of the Malampaya royalties is believed to have cost him his life.

In Esperat’s, it was her exposé of what would eventually come to be known as the Arroyo administration’s “fertilizer fund scam.”

In Ortega’s case, the accused masterminds, former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes and his brother Mario, mayor of Coron, remain free—it is believed they fled the country just days before warrants were issued for their arrest.

In Esperat’s, the alleged brains continue to report to their cushy government jobs seven years after hired gunmen barged into her home and executed her as she sat at dinner with her children.

In both murders, those who supposedly gave the orders were unequivocally named by the confessed triggermen.

And yet, not only are they still able to elude prosecution, they have yet to be called to account for and explain their roles in the cases brought against them and for which Ortega and Esperat were subjected to the ultimate censorship—death.

Further highlighting government’s apparent indifference to resolving media killings and extrajudicial murders is how quickly alleged pyramid scam mastermind Manuel Amalilio was collared in Malaysia for having a fake passport, the very same thing Joel Reyes, who authorities said was last sighted in another Asean country, is supposed to possess.

Surely, Amalilio’s arrest could not have happened without our government working with Malaysia. So, how come the same diligence to get Amalilio is not being applied to get Reyes back since, as past reports have said, Vietnamese and Thai authorities had acknowledged the entry of the mastermind of Ortega’s killing—or his entry under his assumed identity—into their countries?

Thus, does Aquino’s sorely overrated “tuwid  na  daan” show its true nature, a twisted morass not unlike the multibillion-peso mudholes of Palawan into which all hopes of ever realizing his promise of justice and good governance are stuck in the muck.


National Union of Journalists

of the Philippines,


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=46029

Tags: Benigno Aquino III , Doc Gerry Ortega , letters to the editor , Marlene Esperat , opinion , Senate blue ribbon committee

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Sayyaf man linked to Sipadan kidnapping falls
  • Drilon calls for sobriety as mudslinging, witch hunts loom due to pork scam
  • S. Korea ferry toll hits 150 as search gets tougher
  • If Napoles names Aquino allies, they’ll be brought to bar of justice – Palace
  • Lacson says diamond-studded earring snatched from wife fake
  • Sports

  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
  • David Moyes out as Manchester United manager
  • Nadal to face fellow Spaniard at Barcelona Open
  • Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw
  • Lifestyle

  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Sweet party for Andi Manzano
  • Entertainment

  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Summer movie preview: Bay reboots ‘Transformers’
  • Business

  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • $103M Vista Land bonds tendered for redemption
  • Oil slips to $102 as US crude supplies seen rising
  • SC stops Meralco power rate hike anew
  • Technology

  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • No word yet on inking of US-PH defense pact during Obama visit
  • Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  • China, rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions
  • Visa-free US trip? Do not believe it, says consulate
  • Obama visit to Asia seen as counterweight to China
  • Marketplace