Korean businessman killed inside PNP headquarters
The head of Hanjin executive Jee Ick Joo was covered with a packaging tape and then strangled while inside Camp Crame, the headquarters of the Philippine National Police (PNP), a Department of Justice (DOJ) resolution revealed.
Accused Senior Police Officer4 (SPO4) Roy Villegas gave the details about how Jee was killed.
In his affidavit, he said while inside Camp Crame, he heard SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel talking to a certain “Sir Dumlao” where he overheard him say, “Sir, ang alam ko ay kilala nyo ang mga taong ito dahil ang pagkakaalam ko ay sanction niyo ito (Sir, I thought you knew these people and you authorized this [operation]).”
Villegas further said that Sta. Isabel was the one who brought a packaging tape and surgical gloves and ordered them to cover the head of the victim and follow him instead of Dumlao.
“He finally recalls seeing respondent Sta. Isabel strangling and killing the victim,” the DOJ resolution stated.
After the victim was killed, Villegas said Sta. Isabel called a certain “Ding” who agreed to receive the body in exchange for P30,000 and a golf set.
Then, the body was brought to the funeral home in Caloocan.
“He joined the operation as he believed then that the operation is a legitimate police operation against the herein victim who, according to respondent Sta. Isabel is involved in illegal drugs,” the DOJ resolution stated.
“He reiterates that he thought all along that the surveillance and police operations which he participated in are legitimate police operations.”
“When he realized it, he did not resist and instead, he obeyed the instruction of respondent Sta. Isabel for fear of his life and that of his family,” the same resolution stated.
Jee, together with house help Marisa D. Morquicho, was taken by two unidentified men from their house in Pampanga on Oct. 18, 2016.
In her testimony, Morquicho said the men dragged Jee from the house into a black Ford Explorer.
Then, she said they ordered her to accompany them to Jee’s room.
After helping the police officers, she said they ordered her to board the same car.
She said while on their way to Manila, the men informed her that her boss was involved in illegal drug activities.
From Pampanga, she said they passed by Quezon City Circle until they reached a place with several men wearing T-shirts with the marking “Pulis.”
Morquicho said after they arrived at Camp Crame, she was transferred to Sta. Isabel’s car and released the next day.
At Camp Crame, Villegas said he told Sta. Isabel that he thought the “Director will join them.”
Villegas said Sta. Isabel told him “basta sama sama tayo dito (We’re all in this together).”
On the other hand, PO2 Christopher Baldovino said in his testimony that he was part of the surveillance operation that was conducted prior to the abduction of Jee.
Jee was killed on the same day he was abducted. Still, perpetrators demanded an P8-million ransom from his family.
Jee’s wife, Kyungjin Choi, in her affidavit said she initially paid P5 million on Oct. 30, 2016 but refused to deliver the remaining P3 million after the perpetrators failed to present proof of life.
Kidnapping for ransom with homicide
The DOJ, in the resolution, stated that Sta. Isabel, Villegas, Ramon Yalung and several John Does should be prosecuted for a complex crime of kidnapping for ransom with homicide.
They were indicted for failing to submit evidence denying their participation in the crime.
The DOJ said the respondents failed to counter the evidence against them as well as the testimonies of Morquicho, the victim’s wife and the admission made by Villegas and Baldovino.
“Until now, no controverting evidence was filed by any of the respondents despite the opportunity given to them,” the DOJ resolution stated.
“As the victim was killed during and in the course of his detention, respondents who acted in conspiracy are liable for the special complex crime of kidnapping for ransom with homicide.”
“The special complex crime of kidnapping for ransom with homicide is committed when the person was killed on the occasion, in connection, in the course of or subsequent to his detention, regardless of whether the killing was purposely sought or was merely an afterthought. In this case, it was respondent Sta. Isabel who killed the victim by strangulation,” the DOJ said.
Person of interest
Gerardo Santiago, owner of Gream Funeral Parlor where Jee’s body was taken, has left the country.
Information from the Bureau of Immigration showed that Santiago left for Vancouver, Canada last January 11, 2017 on board Philippine Airlines.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said he has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to coordinate with the International Police in locating Santiago.
Meanwhile, Sta. Isabel, who is under the NBI’s protective custody will not be placed under the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP), said Aguirre.
South Korean government
Aguirre said they are drafting a letter in response to the letter by the Korean government inquiring about Jee’s case.
“We are already drafting a response and we will include the latest development to the case,” Aguirre said. RAM
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.