Reference: Atty. Harry L. Roque Jr. 09175398096
Authorities should not stop at the recent arrest of the Reyes brothers in Phuket, Thailand over the murder of environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega but should ensure that justice is meted out to the guilty, including those who plundered the Malampaya funds, according to the Center for International Law.
“We’re hoping for justice for Dr. Gerry Ortega’s family and for the country,” said Prof. H. Harry L. Roque, chair of the Center. “All those who plundered the Malampaya funds should also be prosecuted and Palawan should be given its lawful 40 percent share from all of the gas well’s revenues.”
Roque served as counsel for the Ortega family in the murder case against former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and his brother Mario, a former mayor, until it was filed in court. He is also counsel for the Kilusan Love Malampaya (KLM), a Palawan-based civil society group and residents of Palawan who had filed a petition in the Supreme Court to compel the National Government to give to the province a 40-percent share in the proceeds of the Malampaya gas wells as provided in the Local Government Code.
It has been pending with the High Court since it was filed nearly seven years ago.
Ortega, one of the prime movers behind KLM, had been a staunch critic of the role of the Palawan provincial government – then headed by Joel Reyes as governor – in the handling of the funds from the gas wells.
He was gunned down near his veterinary clinic on Jan. 24, 2011.
The Malampaya funds were among the government coffers raided by the alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.