MANILA, Philippines – Involving former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes in the recent bombings in the province is "most laughable" and "pathetic," according to Reyes’ legal spokesman Atty. Ferdinand Topacio.
In a statement released Tuesday, Topacio alleged that political rivals of Reyes were behind the reports that the ex-governor has ties with one of the suspects in the blasts.
“This is the very same strategy employed when they framed-up Gov. Reyes regarding the [Gerry] Ortega killing, by spinning the facts so that Gov. Reyes will be inextricably entwined with the crime. It worked so well that time that the enemies of Reyes were even able to convince the Ortega Family,” said Topacio.
Reyes, his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes Jr., and several others were ordered arrested for the murder of broadcast journalist Gerry Ortega.
According to Topacio, the alleged scheme linking Reyes to the bombings is “totally ridiculous and again based on outright lies.”
“For instance, official records will show that the alleged bomber, a certain Hassan, has never been an employee of Vice-Governor Fems Reyes. In fact, he was an employee of the late Gov. Socrates. Following the logic of the political opponents of Reyes, they should be looking at Congressman Dennis Socrates for complicity. We say this only to underscore the absurdity of what Reyes' enemies are saying,” he said.
Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn said on Monday that the suspect in the blasts, identified as Hiya Hassan, admitted that he was an employee of Reyes’ wife.
The incident occurred outside a hotel in El Nido town and near a bus depot in Puerto Princesa City, and left at least 4 people hurt.