The Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 58 ordered yesterday the arrest of SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas, and five others involved in the kidnap-slay of Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo on October 18 last year.
State prosecutors earlier found probable cause to indict Sta. Isabel, Villegas, Ramon Yalung and four others identified only as alias “Pulis,” “Jerry,” “Sir Dumlao,” and “Ding” with kidnap for ransom with homicide.
Sta. Isabel and Villegas were assigned to the Philippine National Police-Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) when the crime was committed.
Sta. Isabel is currently under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) while, Villegas surrendered to the PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) Monday.
“The custody (of Sta. Isabel) will be transferred to the PNP,” Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said, noting that the PNP has the arrest warrant. Sta. Isabel was expected to be fetched by the PNP Friday afternoon.
“The arrest warrant will be served to Sta. Isabel and he will be transferred to Camp Crame,” Aguirre said.
GONE IN A DAY
PNP Spokesperson Dionardo Carlos said Jee who operates a few businesses inside the Clark Freeport Zone was abducted last October 18 along with his househelp, Marissa Dawis, by Sta. Isabel, Villegas and the five other accused from his house in Friendship Plaza Subdivision in Angeles city under the pretext of a drug raid.
From Angeles city the respondents brought Jee to Camp Crame where he was strangled to death by Sta. Isabel. Then Jee was brought out of the main police headquarters to a funeral parlor reportedly owned by a former cop and cremated on the same day he was abducted.
Yet Carlos said, Sta. Isabel et al called up Jee’s wife Kyungjin Choi and demanded an P8-million ransom but the latter only paid P5 million. The respondents were demanding payment of the remaining P3-million but the victim’s wife refused to comply without proof of life.
Jee’s house help, however was released by the respondents in Cubao, Quezon City on October 19.
Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Persida Acosta said PAO lawyers will represent Sta. Isabel after his lawyer left him over death threats that he had been receiving. Acosta said Sta. Isabel’s wife, Jinky is concerned over the safety of her husband at the PNP. Because of this, Acosta said PAO lawyers will request the court to place Sta. Isabel under the custody of the NBI.
Aguirre said Jinky submitted a sworn statement yesterday on her personal knowledge about Jee’s case.
Aguirre said Jinky “narrated a lot of facts” but declined to give details.
The Secretary gave no commitment if Sta. Isabel will be considered as a state witness and be placed under the Witness Protection Program (WPP).
Initially, the Justice department was considering Sta. Isabel as a state witness.
“We will see if he is the most guilty. If he is, then he is not qualified,” Aguirre assured.
Korean residents living at the Subic Bay Freeport and who knew Jee said they were “stunned and shocked that the PNP officers who are sworn to protect the people of this country is involved, and moreover its high-ranking officials as well.”
Jee worked as a director of Greenbeach Powertech Inc., a subcontractor of Hanjin Heavy Industries and Construction-Philippines from 2007 to August 2008 and ran his own businesses inside Clark since then until his demise.
Senator Grace Poe said yesterday that Jee’s death inside Camp Crame is a litmus test for PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa’s vow not to tolerate criminal acts done by his men.
“This is one case that he must show resolve, boldly that it will leave no doubt in the minds of our enraged citizenry that these men will be punished,” said Poe.
Any hesitation on the part of Director-General Dela Rosa, or any move that will show partiality will damage his reputation and the organization he leads, Poe noted.
Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson called for a thorough cleansing of the PNP of scalawags in conjunction with its no-nonsense anti-illegal drug campaign. Lacson said he told Dela Rosa that the cleansing of the PNP is highly advisable to earn the respect of the citizenry.
“This is probably the most unwelcome wake-up call for PNP Director-General Ronald de la Rosa,” he said.
The PNP leadership should lose no time in addressing the issue by henceforth going hammer and tongs against all rogue cops who only care about their personal gains to the detriment of the entire police organization, Lacson said.
“Priority must be against those who take advantage of the President’s all-out, mostly bloody war against illegal drugs,” he added.Via: MB