INTERIOR Secretary Ismael Sueno on Saturday assured the family of slain businessman Jee Ick Joo that police officers responsible for the death of the South Korean national would be punished.
“To the wife and family of Mr. Jee, my sincerest condolences over the death of your husband. Rest assured that those who were identified and will be pinpointed as the culprits during the course of the investigation which also involves SPO3 Ricky Santa Isabel and his alleged cohorts will be dealt with accordingly,” Sueno was quoted as saying in a statement.
Santa Isabel, the prime suspect in the killing, was arrested by the police on Friday, five days after surrendering to the National Bureau of Investigation.
Sueno however did not address Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s call for Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald de la Rosa to quit.
De la Rosa on Thursday expressed his disgust and disappointment over the death of Jee, who was said to have been murdered inside the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City after being abducted from his home in Angeles City last October.
“I have personally asked the Chief PNP to continue to monitor the case, as well as to accelerate the investigation and ensure that all police scalawags involved in the incident particularly SPO3 Ricky Santa Isabel be meted with appropriate sanctions in accordance with the rule of law. The speedy resolution of Mr. Jee’s case is the best justice that this country can give to his family and to the South Koreans right now,” Sueno said.
De la Rosa earlier met with Jee’s wife as well as with officials of the South Korean Embassy, and explained to them the efforts being undertaken by the PNP to resolve the case.
Sueno said the DILG and the PNP won’t tolerate “any illegal activity within their power and jurisdiction.”
“Similarly, we will not let this few rotten members of the PNP undermine the gains of the anti-illegal drugs drive particularly Oplan ‘Tokhang,’” referring to the house-to-house campaign to encourage drug users and suspects to surrender.
Sueno reiterated that the case of Jee was an isolated one. Santa Isabel was said to have manipulated other officers who went with him to Jee’s home in Angeles, to make it appear like a legitimate drug raid.
“A deeper look into the background of Santa Isabel and the possible handlers will reveal his notorious and nefarious activities of kidnapping for ransom and [extortion]using fake warrants of arrest,” the Cabinet official said.
Sueno said he would support any congressional investigation into the killing.