THE Bureau of Immigration (BI) has arrested an alleged member of the so-called “Korean mafia” who was linked to the celebrated Jee Ick Joo kidnap-slay case.
Arrested on orders of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd was South Korean businessman Kang Tae Sik, who earlier was cleared of any link to the supposed Korean underground group.
But the Korean Business and Community Association on Thursday said Aguirre’s arrest order was unwarranted.
The group said it was stunned by the decision of Aguirre to reverse the “final and executory decision of his predecessor now Supreme Court Associate Justice Alfredo Benjamin Caguiao” clearing Kang of any wrongdoing.
Redentor Viaje, lawyer for Kang, also on Thursday disclosed that Immigration authorities arrested the South Korean businessman the other day in Makati City (Metro Manila) based on an order issued by Aguirre dated March 7, 2017.
“It was not clear what was the offense committed by Kang who has been living in the Philippines for almost 40 years,” Viaje said.
He deplored the manner of the government agents in arresting Kang in his office in Makati whom he said looked at private files and documents of Kang.
Viaje said that last year, then Justice Secretary Alfredo Benjamin Caguiao, issued a decision granting Kang’s appeal regarding a BI resolution ordering his deportation.
“In his decision, Caguiao pointed out, “It would, indeed, be the height of injustice if we condone the deportation of upright individual, who has made this country his home for the last 38 years absent any legal ground and merely on the basis of a complaint instituted by appellant’s own former lawyers.”
Citing the Supreme Court decision in the case of Lao Gi et al vs. BID, he said “it is only the Bureau of Immigration [the former Bureau of Immigration and Deportation]which can file a motion for reconsideration and prohibits the participation of private complainant in prosecuting the case.”
The BI did not file a motion for reconsideration with the Department of Justice (DOJ), thus making the decision final and executory in February 2016, or more than a year ago, clearing Kang of any immigration case.
Viaje said he suspects that the case was revived because a motion for reconsideration had been filed by an Alex Tan, supposedly a former lawyer for Kang who later tried to take over the importation business of Kang.
Kang was also mistakenly linked to Jee Ick Joo kidnap-slay case but the Korean Embassy in the Philippines challenged Aguirre to substantiate his remarks with concrete evidence.
“Kang was a victim of the so-called Korean-Filipino Mafia,” Viaje said, adding that Tan, with a South Korean identified only as “Kevin Lee,” initiated a hoax deportation case against Kang.
Tan’s group allegedly demanded P50 million to abandon his multimillion Korean wine importation business in the Philippines. WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL