Joel Reyes, a former provincial governor, and his brother, Mario, a former town mayor, were detained on the Thai holiday island of Phuket yesterday, said presidential spokesman Herminio Coloma.
Local channel TPBS released footage of the pair being escorted by police and attending a news conference on Monday, but did not reveal their faces.
Philippine officials say a former provincial governor and his brother who are wanted for the 2011 murder of a radio anchor and prominent environmentalist have been arrested in Thailand.
Aside from alleged environmental crimes, Ortega had accused Joel Reyes of syphoning off millions of dollars in revenues from a gas field off the coast of Palawan when he was governor. The other came to Thailand legally but was arrested on the charge of overstaying his visa, he said, adding that both would be deported.
De Lima said upon their return, the Reyes brothers will temporarily be detained either at Camp Crame or in the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) until Judge Angelo Arizala of the Puerto Princesa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 52 decides where the two will be committed. No dates have yet been released. The assassin, Marlon Recamata, was arrested after a brief chase and later confessed to the crime.
The brothers went missing in 2012 after an arrest warrant was issued for them. She expressed relief but also said she was anxious about whether the Reyes brothers could still evade justice.
“The arrest of the long-wanted Reyes brothers provides an opportunity for pursuing the ends of justice”, Coloma said in a statement. “We acknowledge the efforts of Interpol and Thai authorities in making this possible”.
Another source said the task force went to Thailand previous year to look for the brothers.
This was why Michaella said the family was “stunned” at the relatively quick results, given that Ortega was killed four years ago. One of the suspects, Reyes’ bodyguard Rodolfo Edrad Jr., turned state witness.
Shortly after, the Reyes brothers were spotted in Phuket, Thailand.
He, however, said that the main witness had given his word to stick to his testimony though he claimed that he is afraid for the security of his family.
“We know that this is hard for her because she is a former lawyer of the Reyeses but I think she needs to do what is right”, Patty added.
De Lima confirmed that Philippine immigration authorities were now processing the Reyes brothers’ deportation papers.
They also asked Secretary De Lima “to immediately resolve the Petition for Review and declare that there is probable cause against the Reyes brothers, notwithstanding the current petition before the Supreme Court”.