Court orders arrest of cops in Korean's kidnap-slay


Posted at Jan 20 2017 03:34 PM | Updated as of Jan 20 2017 08:19 PM

MANILA – A local court has ordered the arrest of several individuals tagged in the kidnapping and killing of Korean Jee Ick-joo.

Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 58 issued an arrest warrant for SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas, Ramon Yalung, and four others only known under the aliases "Pulis", "Jerry", "Sir Dumlao", and "Ding".

The PNP is at the center of controversy over the death of the Korean businessman, who was allegedly abducted from his home as part of a “tokhang-for-ransom” scheme, and killed by police officers inside the national police headquarters, Camp Crame.

PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa apologized to South Korea on Thursday, and expressed dismay over the involvement of “his people" in the killing.

“Gusto [ko] mag-disappear dito sa mundo dahil sa sobrang hiya, dahil sa ginagawa ng mga tao ko (I want to disappear from the world due to extreme shame, because of what my people did),” he said.

In indicting the suspects for kidnapping for ransom with homicide, the Department of Justice based its findings on the testimony of Villegas and PO2 Christopher Baldovino, who were both part of the group that took Jee from his residence in October last year, as well as the statements of Marisa Morquicho, Jee's house helper who was also allegedly forcibly taken.

Villegas and Baldovino’s statements detailed their knowledge of the incident involving the victim and pointed to Sta. Isabel and his co-conspirators as the abductors who killed the victim.

Morquicho and Villegas’ accounts of how the respondents abducted and killed Jee “is sufficient enough to establish that the victim was kidnapped and his liberty was restrained against his will," the DOJ resolution read.

Villegas' testimony identified Sta. Isabel as the one who strangled, and eventually killed Jee. It was also allegedly Sta. Isabel who directed that Jee's remains be brought to a funeral parlor owned by a former cop.

The DOJ said the respondents' demand for an P8-million ransom, and the actual delivery of P5 million as partial payment by Jee's wife, Choi Kyung Jin, proved that his abduction was "for purposes of extorting money from his family."

Villegas and Baldovino claimed they thought the operation at Jee's residence in Angeles City, Pampanga was legitimate after they were made to believe that Jee was involved in illegal drugs. They both confirmed that surveillance on Jee was conducted on October 4. - reports from Johnson Manabat, dzMM; Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News