MANILA, Philippines - The reward money for any information that will lead to the arrest of former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes and his brother, Coron Mayor Mario Reyes, has risen to P1.55 million.
In a statement, the Justice for Doc Gerry Ortega Movement expressed its thanks to individuals who donated to put up the reward money following the issuance of warrants for the arrest of the Reyes brothers who were charged along with several others for the murder of Ortega, an environmentalist and broadcaster.
"The confluence of our efforts has made a significant headway in the past weeks following the issuance of the Warrant of Arrest. Lately, with the help of many concerned groups and individuals, we have been able to raise an additional Php 350,000. This makes the current total bounty for the Reyes brothers at 1.55 Million Pesos, in addition to the initial 1.2 Million Pesos," the statement read.
Donations started to come in during the 50th birthday celebration of Ortega's widow, Dr. Patria Ortega.
Running priest, Robert Reyes, also helped raise funds for the bounty by sending out solicitation letters.
The latest donors are 2 businessmen who, ironically, used to be supporters of ex-Gov. Reyes. The businessmen, who requested anonimity, donated P250,000 over the weekend, the group said.
"We hope that the current amount of the reward money would, in turn, enable and encourage potential informants, those who are privy to the current whereabouts of the Reyes brothers, to come forward and aid our authorities in zeroing in on the fugitives," the statement read.
Ortega, who openly criticized Reyes in his radio program, was gunned down at a used clothing store in Puerto Princesa City in January 2011.
He was ABS-CBN Foundation program director for Philippine Ecotourism Palawan.
The Reyes brothers were charged before the Palawan Regional Trial Court (RTC) along with Arturo Regalado, Valentin Lecias, Rodolfo Edrad, Jr., Armando Noel, Jr., Dennis Aranas, Arwin Arandia, and former Palawan provincial administrator Romeo Serratubias.