Lawyer Harry Roque and Patty Ortega, wife of slain radioman and Palawan advocate Dr. Gerry Ortega, in an interview on Dateline Philippines, February 10, 2011. (ABS-CBN News)
MANILA, Philippines - Patty Ortega, the wife of murdered radio broadcaster Gerry Ortega, said on Thursday that former Palawan governor Joel Reyes is the mastermind in her husband's killing.
Ortega, in an interview on ANC's Dateline Philippines, said Reyes had the motives to kill Gerry since he was a critic of the former governor and was one of the reasons for Reyes's defeat when he ran for the congressional seat in the 2nd district of Palawan in the May 2010 elections.
She said Gerry discovered that Reyes and other officials took money from the funds of the Malampaya natural gas project, as well as from mining activities in the province.
Patty also linked former president and currently Pampanga 2nd district representative, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and several other Palawan politicians to corruption in Palawan.
"Ang yaman-yaman ng Palawan pero ninanakaw niyo, kinukurakot niyo nila GMA, kayong mga magkaka-kuntsaba," she said.
Lawer Harry Roque, meanwhile, said that the allegations against Reyes are not politically motivated, since they first waited for testimonies before filing a complaint against the former governor.
He said the testimonies of four people close to Reyes disproves the ex-governor's claim that he was "deliberately dragged" into the case.
Roque said the criticisms made by the slain radioman, who had been his client since 2003, stems from the Provisional Sharing Agreement entered into by the Reyes administration, which reduced Palawan's royalties from the Malampaya natural gas project from 40% to 20%.
He said Ortega had criticized Reyes for agreeing to a lower share in the revenue for Palawan, and for using the money for pork-barrel-style projects, instead of distributing it as the law provided.
Patty Ortega called on the Department of Justice to speed up its preliminary investigation into the killing of her husband.
"Sana madaliin na natin para makasuhan na siya at makulong na siya," she said, referring to Reyes.
She also said Reyes should have talked to Gerry about their differences instead of having him killed.
"Para kay Joel Reyes, sana 'di mo pinatay si Gerry. Marami pa siyang pangarap para sa Palawan. Sana hindi mo pinatay," she said. -- Kris Danielle Suarez, abs-cbnNEWS.com, and ANC