PNP: No plan to reinstate sacked drug enforcer
There is no guarantee that former Lt. Col. Rafael Dumlao, who was the alleged mastermind in the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo at the height of the previous administration’s war on drugs in 2016, may be reinstated in the police service following his acquittal from his criminal case.
Philippine National Police spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said it would be a long and difficult process and might take years before his dismissal could be reversed that may take appeals from different government agencies, and even up to the Supreme Court.
Based on records, Dumlao, a team leader of a special investigation unit of the defunct Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) (now the Drug Enforcement Group), was found guilty in January 2018 for the administrative offense of grave misconduct for his involvement in the killing of Jee, causing his dismissal.
“His acquittal in his criminal cases does not mean he could automatically be back in the service. The dismissal of his criminal cases does not mean it will result in the dismissal of his administrative case,” Fajardo told reporters in a phone interview on Wednesday.
“He could use it [his acquittal] in his appeal, but the pieces of evidence to be presented to prove guilt in an administrative case are different and separate [from] the criminal case,” she added.
In a decision released on June 6, the Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 60 in Pampanga province, acquitted Dumlao on criminal charges of kidnapping with homicide, kidnapping with serious illegal detention and carnapping for failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt.
The court, however, convicted Dumlao’s lower-ranking AIDG officer, SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, and Jerry Omlang, a former errand boy of the National Bureau of Investigation for the three charges.
They were sentenced to two counts of reclusion perpetua (20 to 40 years) without parole for the kidnapping with homicide and the kidnapping with serious illegal detention, and another 20 to 25 years for carnapping.
Jee was kidnapped by police officers led by Sta. Isabel at his residence in Friendship Subdivision in Angeles on Oct. 18, 2016, under the guise of an antidrug operation.
Marisa Morquicho, his household helper, was also abducted but was later released by the police.
He was later strangled to death inside a van parked inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame. His remains were burned and flushed down the toilet in a funeral parlor in Caloocan.
The PNP has yet to receive information if Dumlao would appeal his dismissal, but Fajardo noted, “it would take years before his administrative case could be reversed.”