Rizal police nab 5 out to ‘salvage’ 2 compatriots
The two Koreans were down on their knees, blindfolded and naked from the waist up—and were being beaten with a baseball bat by their own compatriots.
Police said they were able to photograph this scene as they rushed to the site where a group of Korean nationals were allegedly about to execute two of their peers gangster-style along Don Mariano Avenue Extension in Rodriguez, Rizal province in the wee hours of Monday.
The town’s police chief, Supt. Don Bait, on Monday said his men arrived just before the “salvaging’’ or execution of Lee Sang Hwang, 32, and Kim Sueng Nam, 32, both natives of Seoul, who were earlier abducted in Pasig City reportedly over a gambling dispute.
The responding team arrested five other Koreans who were allegedly caught in the act of beating up Lee and Kim, who had bruises all over their bodies when rescued.
They were identified as Choi Jin Ah, 37; Shin Ki Sik, 28; Dong Ha Him, 33; Park Tae Hyon, 39; and Edward Oh, 38. Also arrested was the suspects’ Filipino driver, Ariel Quimpo of Quezon City.
The Rodriguez incident took place two days after another group of Koreans were arrested for running a dogfight gambling syndicate in Calauan and San Pablo towns in the neighboring province of Laguna.
Bait said investigators have yet to establish if yesterday’s arrests were related to the dogfight gambling operation.
According to the suspects’ Filipino driver, the Koreans had a squabble over gambling money, Bait said. “They were reportedly involved in financing e-casino games,’’ he added.
The five suspects were charged with frustrated murder and kidnapping during inquest proceedings in Taytay, Rizal, on Monday.
According to Bait, policemen manning a checkpoint in Barangay San Jose received word from a motorist that there was a commotion on the roadside some 50 meters away from the checkpoint at around 1:15 a.m.
Upon reaching the spot, responding policemen saw two men on their knees, blindfolded and naked from the waist up, with five others taking turns hitting them with a baseball bat, Bait said.
“They (my men) were even able to take a picture,” he said, noting that the photo would serve as a vital piece of evidence in court against the suspects.
Bait noted that Kim and Lee were brought to the same stretch of road in Barangay San Jose where the bullet-riddled bodies of a man and a woman were found last month.
Hardly illuminated at night, the zigzagging road had apparently become a dumping ground for salvage victims, he said.
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