MANILA - Former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes reiterated that he is not a flight risk as he assured the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division that he is willing to go behind bars if the court affirms his conviction over a mining permits case.
Reyes, through his lawyer Demetrio Custodio, has filed his opposition to the motion of the prosecution for his immediate commitment after he was convicted for illegally granting mining permits to small-scale miners in Palawan.
Reyes is currently out on bail as he is appealing the court’s decision sentencing him to six to eight years of imprisonment.
Reyes was convicted by the Sandiganbayan before he was relased from the Puerto Princesa City jail because of the Court of Appeals decision effectively dismissing his murder case involving environmentalist Gerry Ortega.
“In the event, however, that his conviction is subsequently affirmed with finality, Accused will comply with the orders of the Court. Until such a time has come, Accused most respectfully requests the Honorable Court not to cancel his bail and allow him provisional liberty pending appeal,” Custodio said in their opposition to the prosecution’s motion.
Reyes also emphasized that he is enjoying his liberty after the CA decision was released.
“He is out of jail, happy, comfortable and peaceful. He is able to spend time with his family, friends and loved ones as he pleases, without the constraints of incarceration and without any constant mortal fear of being caught. It would thus be irrational for Accused to leave this behind for the life of a fugitive," Custodio said.