Police to NBI agents: Prove your innocence in Korean kidnap case

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) urged on Wednesday, November 29, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents implicated in the kidnapping of a Korean businessman in Angeles City, Pampanga to come forward and clear their names.

Three NBI agents and two members of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) were tagged in the November 24 kidnapping of Lee Jung Dae, a restaurant owner in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Lee’s three employees in the restaurant were also abducted on the same day.

PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa, upon learning of the abduction on Saturday during a meeting with his counterparts in South Korea, ordered the AKG to conduct an operation to rescue the victims.

Police arrested three Korean nationals - Kim Min alias Michael Lim and twin brothers Cha Jae Young and Cha Jae Sun - and Filipino national Raymond Flores, who were allegedly involved in the kidnapping.

Initial investigation showed that the Chas were tasked to conduct surveillance of their target while Kim contacted the NBI and BI agents, who came up with a fake mission order to compel the target to go with them.

Lee’s girlfriend paid the suspects P1.2 million, but the suspects did not release the victim and instead asked for an additional P1.2 million.

Lee was rescued inside a vehicle parked within the BI compound in Intramuros, Manila. The victim was guarded by Flores and the Cha brothers.

Dela Rosa said Kim revealed during the interrogation the participation of the NBI agents assigned in Pampanga and the two BI operatives identified as Carlos Garcia and Paul Calingasan.

NBI director Dante Gierran had denounced Dela Rosa’s statement and lamented that the organization's credibility was destroyed based on still unverified report.

He said they were considering the filing of charges against the PNP. Gierran maintained that all NBI agents in their Pampanga office are all accounted for.

"The report, likewise, stated that there was no NBI operation conducted in the area in Angeles Pampanga, that was participated in by any of NBI Agents or personnel of CELRO or in any of the district offices, which operation involved a Korean citizen being apprehended or being forcibly taken into custody and detention, on the date of the incident where the victim, Lee Jung Dae, was kidnapped," he said.

AKG director Senior Superintendent Glenn Dumlao said the NBI, particularly the agents involved, should shed light on the matter instead of threatening to sue the PNP.

"Now, kung sila ay anghel lahat, the more dapat na they come forward. Pumunta sila dito, dalhin ang mga taong ito. Kung anghel ang mga taong ito, ipa-identify mo. Walang uwak dito. Pero dove dito, ito puro kalapati (If they are innocent, they should come forward. If these people are innocent, they should be identified)," he said.

"Once may allegation kahit konting allegation 'yan, it's our responsibility as part of our accountability na (to) come forward makipagtulungan at prove otherwise. 'Yon ang tamang gawin, hindi iyong kakasuhan ang PNP (If there's an allegation, it's our responsibility to cooperate and prove otherwise. That's the right thing to do, instead of filing a case against the PNP)," he added.

Reiterating the legality of the operation they conducted, Dumlao said the implication of the NBI agents in particular came directly from the arrested suspects and they are not just “making and imagining stories.”

He also defended Dela Rosa saying that the top policeman was even very careful in mentioning the implication of the other law enforcement agents.

"Very, very careful nga si chief, PNP noong presscon niya. Alleged, because it's still an allegation. Ina-allege ng mismong mga suspects. (Chief Dela Rosa was very, very careful during the presscon. He said it was alleged. The suspects made the allegation). We are just stating the facts," said Dumlao.

"So sana naman let's put everything in proper perspective at 'wag naman kaming, don’t take it against us. Nakakalungkot na sasabihin na kakasuhan pa kami," he added. (SunStar Philippines)

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