Angeles police apologize to Koreans for extortion

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 27 2017 07:35 PM | Updated as of Jan 27 2017 08:42 PM

Photo courtesy of Station 5, Angeles City Police Office

The Angeles City police officially apologized to the Korean community for an incident in December where rogue officers extorted money from tourists, and promised to bring the men involved to justice.

"I am humbly offering our apologies regarding the incident that transpired last December 30,” wrote Chief Inspector Rolando Doroja, new commander of Angeles City Police Station 5, in a letter of apology to Kim Ki Young, president of the Korean Community Central Luzon.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) leadership will not tolerate such wrongdoings, he said, and they are "taking new efforts" to protect Koreans and other foreign visitors. 

"[We are] making sure that the said incident will not be repeated," Doroja wrote in the letter, which was given to the leader of the local South Korean community on Thursday.

In an interview, the Angeles police chief said that they hope to win back the trust of the Korean community.

Local Koreans did not expect conciliatory moves by local authorities, Doroja said, because they did not think that the incident was a big thing.

Following the incident, local police ramped up efforts to ensure the safety of Koreans and locals in the city.

Photo by Pauline Manalo, ABS-CBN News

Seven cops from the Angeles City Police Station 5 were placed under restrictive custody and face administrative charges and possible criminal charges after 3 Koreans claimed that they were illegally detained inside the station for 7 hours.

The Koreans, who filed a complaint at the Korean embassy on January 5, were only released after they allegedly paid P300,000.

"This is the first time they visited the Philippines. They just went here to play golf. It was a traumatic experience," said Police Regional Office 3 Director Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino in an interview with ABS-CBN News on Monday.

According to Aquino, the cops allegedly entered a residence in Friendship Plaza where the 3 South Koreans were staying while on vacation in the Philippines. 

Doroja's letter of apology comes in the wake of apologies by the Philippine government to Korea for the killing of businessman Jee Ick Joo in the police headquarters, and the Palace's promise that it will pursue swift justice. – with reports from Gracie Rutao and Pauline Manalo, ABS-CBN News