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Bato: ‘Go-between’ in Jee slay identified

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Bato: ‘Go-between’ in Jee slay identified

/ 01:10 AM February 18, 2017
Jee Ick-joo crime scene

Koreans pray at the spot where compatriot Jee Ick-joo was killed inside Camp Crame in this Feb. 6 file photo.—GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

Investigators have identified the “go-between” who handled the ransom negotiations in the kidnapping of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, according to the chief of the Philippine National Police.

Director General Ronald Dela Rosa said the suspect, whose identity was withheld, was the one who approached Jee’s wife demanding money to “facilitate” her husband’s release.

“We have identified (the suspect). Let’s wait for it. This will come out in the reinvestigation being conducted,” Dela Rosa told reporters on Wednesday in Pampanga province. “(The suspect) is the go-between facilitating payments, the one who approached the wife of the victim (and told her) to give this amount of money to ‘facilitate your case.’”

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Jee, a former executive of the Hanjin shipping company, was abducted from his home in Angeles City in October last year by a group of policemen supposedly conducting an antidrug operation. He was brought to Camp Crame, where he was killed even after his wife had paid a P5-million ransom.

According to SPO4 Roy Villegas, who was part of the group involved in the abduction, Jee was strangled by SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel inside a vehicle parked at the PNP headquarters.

On Jan. 19, the Department of Justice found probable cause to file kidnapping for ransom and homicide charges against Sta. Isabel, Villegas, Ramon Yalung and four more suspects identified only as Pulis, Jerry, Sir Dumlao and Ding.

“We’re really ashamed about this. If something like this happens again, I don’t know what will happen to me,” said Dela Rosa, who also issued an apology to the Korean community in Pampanga.

“Maybe I won’t need to resign. The President will just say, ‘Get out of there because nothing’s happening,’” he added.

Dela Rosa said the PNP would strive to improve the security of Korean communities in the Philippines, noting that “we have concentrations of Koreans in Cebu, Boracay, Angeles, Davao, Subic and Baguio. We have seven Korean police desks.”

The PNP chief added that the Pampanga provincial government would also hire an interpreter so that members of the Korean community, particularly those who do not speak English, could easily air their concerns to authorities.

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