MANILA, Philippines – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima will defend her formation of a second panel in the probe on the 2011 killing of journalist and environmentalist Gerry Ortega.
Former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, are the main suspects in the crime.
De lima told radio dzMM on Wednesday that the Court of Appeals had invalidated the new panel she had created citing a grave abuse of discretion on her part.
"I stand by the decision to create the new panel. Nasa plenary authority ng Secretary of Justice even under the new law, the National Prosecution Service Act," de Lima said.
"Kapag nakikita po ng Secretary of Justice na medyo magkakaroon ng miscarriage of justice because of certain actions or omissions on the part of his or her subordinate officials... ay hindi ho dapat sabihin na walang basehan 'yung paggawa ng ganyang measure ng Secretary of Justice. For the delivery of justice, nakita ko po na kailangan magkaroon ng new investigation," she added.
De Lima said she has already instructed the Solicitor General to prepare a motion for reconsideration to defend the creation of the second panel.
"May directive na po ako sa SolGen na the moment na mareceive nila 'yung official copy ng CA decision ay magprepare sila ng motion for reconsideration," she said.
She added the Reyes brothers should not be cleared without further investigation.
“Hindi naman siguro ibig sabihin tapos na proceedings... cleared na ‘yung Reyes brothers. This is just the preliminary investigation,” she said. – with reports from ANC and dzMM