Fight for justice continues in Doc Gerry case
National Directorate, NUJP
Jan. 24, 2020, marked nine years to the day when a member of a team of hired killers felled Dr. Gerardo Ortega in Puerto Princesa.
Doc Gerry wore many hats: veterinarian, environmentalist, public servant, good governance advocate, civic leader and broadcaster.
It was, in fact, soon after he had finished hosting his program on radio station dwAR that Doc Gerry was shot dead. Fortunately, the gunman and, soon, all the members of the hit team were arrested, prosecuted and convicted.
In a rare instance, the hired killers named the alleged masterminds, who fled the country in 2012 soon after arrest warrants were issued against them. They were captured in Thailand three years after and brought back to stand trial.
Hopes that the alleged brains behind Doc Gerry’s murder would be held accountable had been dashed when accused Mario Reyes was granted bail in 2016 and Joel Reyes was cleared of the murder charge and freed by the Court of Appeals in January 2018.
Three weeks later, however, Joel Reyes was back behind bars after he was convicted of graft by the Sandiganbayan.
In November last year, hopes of justice for Doc Gerry were rekindled when the appellate court reversed the 2018 ruling clearing Joel Reyes and ordered the Regional Trial Court to “issue a warrant of arrest against the petitioner and to conduct proceedings in criminal case No. 26839 with purposeful dispatch.”
All these years, Doc Gerry’s family has not wavered in their struggle to see him granted the justice he and the people he served and loved deserve.
We can do no less.
As we remember Doc Gerry, we call on the courts to let the wheels of justice finally turn, but not turn slowly.
National Union of Journalists
of the Philippines,
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