Cop in Jee Ick-joo slay fears for his life at PNP HQ
The primary accused in the death of South Korean executive Jee Ick -joo has asked the Pampanga court to transfer him back to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for fear of his safety inside the Philippine National Police (PNP).
Senior Police Office 3 (SPO3) Ricky Sta. Isabel was transferred last week from the NBI to the PNP after Angeles City, Pampanga Regional Trial Court Branch 58 issued a warrant for his arrest.
Sta. Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas, Ramon Yalung and four others known only by their aliases have been charged with a kidnapping for ransom with homicide for the death of Jee.
Police seized Jee at his home in Pampanga last Oct. 18, alleging that he has been involved in illegal drug trade. He was brought to Camp Crame where his head was wrapped in packaging tape and strangled to death.
In his urgent motion, Sta. Isabel through the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) said his life is in danger at Camp Crame after he linked ranking police officers to Jee’s killing.
“Since accused here is a member of the Philippine National Police, detained at the institution’s detention facility, he fears for his life’s security as the same is in imminent danger as he continuously receives death threats.”
“Accused will be safer in the custody of the NBI than with the PNP considering that this case not only involves him but also several high ranking and powerful officials who are still connected with the PNP organization.”
PAO added that even Sta. Isabel’s private lawyers were forced to withdraw their representation due to threats to their lives.
He also asked the court to order a reinvestigation of his case and defer his arraignment.
Sta. Isabel said he was deprived of his constitutional right to due process after the DOJ filed the non-bailable case before the court without according him his right to disprove the allegations during preliminary investigation.
He lamented that the DOJ hurriedly issued a resolution on the charges last Jan. 17 and subsequently filed the case in court when he was notified that the hearing for his submission of answer was set on Feb. 6 and 13.
“Accused herein invokes his right to due process and humbly asks this Honorable Court to accord him such fundamental right under our laws. It is clear from the records that accused SPO3 Sta. Isabel was not given the chance to attend the scheduled hearings and submit his Counter-Affidavit simply because the DOJ hastily rendered a Resolution finding probable cause against him. As such, he should not be deemed to have waived his right to a preliminary investigation,” Sta. Isabel said.
“The Information was hastily filed without giving him the chance to file his counter affidavit together with the documents to refute the baseless complaint filed against him,” he further alleged.
The Pampanga court will hear his motion on Friday.
Arraignment is set for Monday.
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