MANILA – Former Palawan governor Mario Joel T. Reyes and his brother, former Coron mayor Mario T. Reyes, alleged masterminds in the 2011 killing of journalist and environmentalist Gerry Ortega, have reportedly been arrested in Phuket, Thailand over the weekend for ‘overstaying’ in the country.
According to a police source from the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Task Force Usig assigned to the capture of the wanted ‘Mario brothers,’ the Thai police have detained the brothers for eventual deportation and have already coordinated with the PNP.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed the arrest of the Reyes brothers and earlier disclosed that there was probable cause to indict both suspects for murdering Ortega.
The victim’s family, for their part, has already been informed of the arrest. Ortega’s daughter, Mica, said in a radio interview that they could not believe the news at first but eventually felt relief that the trial on the alleged masterminds could continue.
It can be recalled that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III in 2012 placed a two-million bounty for the capture of the ‘Big Five’ which included the Reyes brothers, former Dinagat Island Representative Ruben Ecleo Jr., Army Major General Jovito Palparan and Globe Asiatique developer Delfin Lee.
Of the five fugitives, only Ecleo remained at large.