IF only to reiterate the stand of the National Press Club (NPC) on the questionable release of former Palawan governor, Joel Reyes -- despite effort by some quarters to portray him as an “innocent victim” of politics -- below is the official statement of the NPC on the issue:
“The National Press Club (NPC) reiterated its support to the family and friends of murdered Palawan broadcaster, Gerry ‘Doc Gerry’ Ortega, in their fight for justice with the shocking release from jail of the principal suspect, former Palawan governor, Joel Reyes last January 5.
“The NPC joins Doc Gerry’s family, the rest of the media community and all advocates of the rule of law in condemning, in the strongest term, the basis by the Court of Appeals’ former 11th Division head Associate Justice, Normandie Pizzaro, in ordering the release of Reyes.
“Clearly, the order was based on a legal technicality that, under close scrutiny even by their other colleagues in the chamber, is also clearly highly questionable.
“We also laud the Palace, thru Presidential Spokesman, Harry Roque, for immediately coming into the aid of the Ortega family by announcing its decision to question the CA’s ruling thereby giving hope and comfort to the Ortega family in this yet another difficult and trying moment in their fight for justice.
“Adding to the shock and dismay of the media community is that the CA decision comes some two weeks before the 7th commemoration of Ortega’s murder, which happened on January 24, 2011.
“The ‘message’ this ruling means to convey is that, the culture of impunity remains ascendant in our society and that ‘justice’ remains tilted in favor of the moneyed and the influential.”
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May I also add here our kudos to Solicitor General Jose Calida, for immediately saying the government, thru his office, would appeal the CA ruling penned by Pizzaro, who, it now turned out, has opted to retire early, by next month.
Bakit naman kaya sobrang “maaga” ang pagreretiro mo, sir? Boundary, err, “pagod” ka na ba talaga sa trabaho mo bilang mahistrado?
At any rate, this is one decision that the media community and all advocates of the rule of law should not take sitting down.
As SolGen. Calida puts it, the ruling “stinks” and that stink should be traced back to where it came from.