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Saturday, July 20, 2019

DOJ indicts cops tagged in Ick-joo's abduction, killing

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted the policemen allegedly involved in the abduction and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo last October.

In a six-page resolution, the DOJ has found probable cause to charge SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas, Ramon Yalung and four other unidentified individuals with kidnapping for ransom with homicide.

On January 16, two officers of the Philippine National Police Anti-illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) who were part of the operation against Ick-joo – SPO4 Roy Villegas and PO2 Christopher Baldovino – went to the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) to seek protective custody and to disclose their knowledge on the said abduction.

According to the sworn statement of Baldovino, he was part of the October 4 surveillance operation on Ick-joo's residence in Friendship Plaza Subdivision in Angeles, Pampanga, led by Sta. Isabel.

He said he joined because he believed that it was a legitimate operation and that the victim was involved in the illegal drug trade.

Just like Baldovino, Villegas in his sworn statement also said he joined the operation for the same reason. But when he realized that the operation was not legitimate, he still followed Sta. Isabel's order as he feared for his and his family's life.

Villegas, who was part of the abduction on October 18, also disclosed that he saw Sta. Isabel strangle the victim to death.

He said that he overheard Sta. Isabel call a certain Ding to process the body of Ick-joo in exchange for P30,000 and a golf set.

Villegas said they were the ones who brought the body of the Korean national to a funeral parlor in Caloocan.

According to the prosecutors, the admission of the police officers that they kidnapped Ick-joo in his residence corroborated the testimony of house help Marisa Dawis Morquicho, who was also abducted along with her boss.

The DOJ also said that the testimony of Ick-joo's wife that she paid the kidnappers a total of P5 million proved that the abduction was for purposes of extorting money.

The DOJ said respondents Sta. Isabel, Villegas, Yalung, and other cops with aliases "pulis," "Jerry," "Sir Dumlao," and "Ding" are liable for the complex crime of kidnapping for ransom and homicide for conspiring to kidnap and kill the Korean businessman.

The DOJ in its resolution also ordered the conduct of a preliminary probe on the case of illegal detention filed by the PNP-AKG against the same respondents for kidnapping Morquicho.

The resolution was penned by the prosecutor assigned to the case, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Laroza-Torrevilas. (SunStar Philippines)

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