MANILA - The South Korean government has called on Philippine officials to solve the brutal killing of businessman Ick Joo Jee at the hands of police officers, as it expressed "strong regrets" for the "unfortunate" incident.
"We call upon the Philippine authorities to thoroughly conduct the investigation so that the facts of the matter should be brought into light and that those responsible must be brought to justice," said the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in a statement.
A "very much shocked" South Korea is also expecting the Philippines to prevent such cases from being repeated, as they are concerned about the safety of their countrymen in the country, estimated to number around 90,000.
In an earlier statement, the South Korean government said at least 1 million Koreans also visit the Philippines.
On Tuesday, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella apologized to the Korean government and the public in behalf of the administration for Jee’s death.
"We wish to take this occasion to express the condolences and sympathies of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and the Filipino people to Mrs. Choi Hyeung-jin, the widow of Mr. Ick-joo Jee, the South Korean national who met untimely death while in police custody," Abella said at a press briefing.
"We apologize to the South Korean government and people for this irreparable loss…We commit the full force of law to ensure that justice is served and not delayed. To the Korean people, please accept our sincerest and deepest regrets," he said.
Recently, reports of the kidnappings of other Korean nationals surfaced, driving police chief, Director General Ronald dela Rosa to express shame at the presence of rogue cops especially at police headquarters, where Jee was killed.
On Tuesday, SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, the key suspect in Jee's slay, was brought to the Angeles City Trial Court.
He arrived there with fellow suspect SPO4 Roy Villegas, days after a warrant was released for their arrest.