MANILA - An Angeles City court has ordered the detention of three accused in the kidnapping and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo at the Angeles City District Jail.
This comes after Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 56 Judge Irin Zenaida Buan denied the plea of Supt. Rafael Dumlao III, SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, and former NBI agent Jerry Omlang that they be allowed to stay detained in Metro Manila for safety and sanitary reasons.
The three are facing criminal cases of kidnapping for ransom with homicide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and carnapping over the abduction of Jee in his house in Angeles City, Pampanga in October 2016.
Jee was later killed inside Camp Crame, his body cremated, and his ashes flushed down the toilet bowl. Despite this, members of the PNP anti-drugs team allegedly asked P5 million ransom from the family.
Dumlao was arrested in April 2017 while Sta. Isabel and Omlang, who initially sought protective custody under the NBI, were arrested in January and April 2017, respectively.
Dumlao is currently held at the PNP Custodial Center while Sta. Isabel and Omlang are detained at the National Bureau of Investigation detention facility.
Dumlao claimed his transfer to the Angeles City jail will expose him to detainees he once put to jail. Sta. Isabel and Omlang also expressed fear from the possibility of retaliation and complained against “congested and deplorable” conditions of the city jail.
In denying their appeal, the court said the rules on criminal procedure require that the accused should be brought to the nearest police station or jail.
The court also noted that contrary to the fears of the accused, “no untoward incident involving the life and security of detainees in the Angeles City jail has been reported.”
“Moreover, the responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all detainees in the city jail belongs to the city jail warden, thus, all security concerns of detainees should be addressed by the said official once the accused are officially turned over to the said facility,” the court’s order said.
The court also refuted the accused’s claims that their constitutional rights will be violated.
“Contrary to the claim of accused, their continued detention in their present place of detention is a form of special treatment they enjoy unlike the other detainees with pending cases in Angeles City,” the court ruled.