MANILA -- Malacanang on Monday said it will do everything to reverse the Court of Appeals' (CA) decision clearing former Palawan Gov. Joel Reyes from murder charges over the killing of journalist and environmentalist Gerry Ortega.

“We will exercise all legal options to reverse this decision by the Court of Appeals,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a Palace press briefing.

Roque, a former private prosecutor of the Ortega’s case, said the CA ruling overruled an earlier Supreme Court decision that there was probable cause to file case against Reyes.

“There was already a decision by the lower court saying that the evidence was strong against former governor Joel Reyes,” he said.

“I find it alarming. The government will exhaust all remedies including filing first a motion for reconsideration,” he added.

As former legal counsel to Ortega’s family, Roque said he got consent from President Rodrigo Duterte to comment in his personal capacity on the case.

"This is a very sad development for freedom of the press in this country given that the murder of Gerry Ortega is a classic case of extralegal killing," he said.

Roque said he will discuss Ortega’s case with Solicitor General Jose Calida and the Department of Justice regarding a plan to file a motion for reconsideration.

“The government will exhaust all remedies including filing first of a motion for reconsideration," he said. (PNA)