Your Premier Source for Comprehensive Philippines News and Insights! We bring you the latest news, stories, and updates on a wide range of topics, including politics, culture, economy, and more. Stay tuned to know everything you wish about your favorite stars 24/7.


  • Owner: SNOWLAND s.r.o.
  • Registration certificate 06691200
  • 16200, Na okraji 381/41, Veleslavín, 162 00 Praha 6
  • Czech Republic

A 13-year fight for justice in murder of environmental journo Gerry Ortega

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines — When Philippine environmental activist and radio host Gerry Ortega was shot dead on the tropical island of Palawan, his family and friends believed there was enough damning evidence to convict the alleged mastermind.

But more than 13 years later, the man accused of ordering the hit, former provincial governor Joel Reyes, is in hiding, while his brother, also implicated, is a mayor.

In a country where hundreds of journalists and environmental defenders have been killed in the past two decades, Ortega's murder on January 24, 2011, stands out for its brazenness.

The father-of-five was shot in the back of the head at a second-hand clothes shop along a busy road in the Palawan capital of Puerto Princesa.

Ortega had just finished his morning radio show where he frequently railed against politicians, including Reyes, who he accused of corruption and allowing Palawan's forests and minerals to be plundered.

"He made a lot of enemies, but he made the biggest enemy in Joel Reyes and that's why he was killed," Redempto Anda, a journalist in Palawan and friend of Ortega's, told AFP.

Reyes has always denied involvement in the murder.

Ortega's killer was caught and the gun he used traced to a close aide of the former governor.

A bodyguard, who hired the hit squad, turned state witness and implicated Reyes.

But Reyes remains free after many legal twists and turns in the case, leaving Ortega's family, friends and rights groups to lament over the prevailing "culture of impunity" in the Philippines.

"We just really want to have a fair and honest trial," daughter Michaella, 35, told AFP.

"It's been 13 years. Evidence is there."

Prosecutors initially cleared the Reyes brothers of involvement in Ortega's death, but reversed their decision in March 2012 and charged them.

The brothers fled to Thailand where they were caught three years later and deported to the Philippines.

Reyes was freed in 2018 after a court voided the case against him but the charges were reinstated nearly two years later.

The Supreme Court issued a stay on the order for Reyes' re-arrest while it heard his plea for reconsideration, but last year rejected his appeal, ordering him to be