Policemen charged for killing Korean exec

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THE Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday filed criminal charges against two policemen and a number of “John Does” for the killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo right inside the police’s Camp Crame headquarters.

Indicted for the crime of kidnapping for ransom with homicide were Senior Police Office (SPO) 3 Ricky Santa Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas and Ramon Yalung. Also charged were John Does identified only as “Pulis,” “Jerry,” “Sir Dumlao” and “Ding.”

Prosecutors used the testimony of Villegas and Police Office (PO) 2 Christopher Baldovino, who were part of the group that took Jee from his residence on October 18, 2016; and Marisa Morquicho, Jee’s househelp who was also allegedly abducted.

“SPO4 Roy Villegas and PO2 Christopher Baldovino executed their respective sworn statements narrating in detail their knowledge of the incident involving the victim and pointing to respondent Santa Isabel and his co-conspirators as the abductors who killed the victim,” said the resolution signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas and approved by Office in Charge-Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Lilian Dorris Alejo and Prosecutor General Victor Sepulveda.


Villegas said Santa Isabel strangled Jee and eventually killed the Korean national. Santa Isabel then ordered Jee’s remains brought to Gream funeral parlor in Caloocan City.

Prosecutors gave credence to allegations that the respondents demanded an P8-million ransom, and obtained a P5-million partial payment from Jee’s wife, Choi Kyung Jin.

Villegas and Baldovino earlier claimed the raid at Jee’s residence in Angeles City, Pampanga was legitimate after they were made to believe that the Korean was involved in illegal drugs.

The DOJ also recommended a preliminary investigation against the respondents in connection with the illegal detention of Morquicho.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd told reporters there was no plan to get Santa Isabel as state witness. Santa Isabel is under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Aguirre said only persons who “do not appear to be the most guilty” were qualified to become state witnesses.
Speaking to reporters in Malacañang, Philippine National Police Chief Ronald de la Rosa said he would oppose a move to make Santa Isabel a state witness, saying the latter was “most guilty” in the killing.

De la Rosa said he was “very offended” with what happened to Jee. “If I had my way, I will kill the policemen involved. But I cannot do it, it’s illegal,” de la Rosa said.

“I am very sorry that this crime happened and those involved are my people,” he added.

‘Person of interest’

A retired police officer, considered a “person of interest” because he allegedly received P30,000 a few days before his funeral parlor’s embalming of the dead body of the kidnapped Korean national last year, fled the country on January 10, The Manila Times has learned.

A Caloocan barangay (village) official who requested anonymity said retired policeman Gerardo Gregorio Santiago, owner of Gream Funeral Services, went to Canada with his wife on January 10 to visit their daughter.

This was the reason Santiago was not found at the funeral parlor Wednesday night by the NBI and Caloocan City police.

Santiago, who is also chairman of Barangay Bagbaguin, took an official leave.

Santiago allegedly did not report to authorities that the body of a killed South Korean national was brought to his funeral parlor.

The NBI reported on Thursday that five employees of Gream processed Jee’s body.
Jee was allegedly transferred to and cremated at St. Nathaniel Crematory on C-3 Road in Caloocan City.

The same barangay official said Santiago owns Gream Funeral Services, but not St. Nathaniel.

The South Korean Embassy on Thursday urged Philippine authorities to conduct a comprehensive probe into the case.

“We call upon the Philippine authorities to thoroughly conduct the investigation so that the facts of the matter should be brought into light and that those responsible must be brought to justice,” it said in a statement.
“We are very much shocked that an innocent Korean businessman became a victim into the heinous crime committed by group led by police officers under the pretext of performing duties,” it added.

with NELSON BADILLA, CATHERINE S. VALENTE AND MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO

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8 Comments

  1. aladin g. villacorte on

    Camp Crame should be renamed Camp Crime. The sense of impunity cries to high heaven: cold murder committed right inside the PNP Headquarters, the very seat of law enforcement in our country – and committed by the very people whose sworn duty is to enforce the law.

    The victim’s wife lament – “What did we do to deserve this?” is a question addressed to us Filipinos. If we cannot hear the cry of the innocent, the helpless, we must be busier than the Almighty Himself.

  2. Money and drugs destroyed the PNP. There are many corrupt policemen like that of Mexico. Pilipinos like to be policemen for the money. How to solve this ? I do not think there is a solution. We will suffer the consequence like that of Mexico.

  3. Feed your children with money from corruption – you’re raising up a generation of thieves..
    Feed your children with money from drugs – you’re raising future drug lords and addicts..
    Feed your children with money from curtailing another life – you’re raising up a generation of ruthless killers and mad men..
    Feed your children with money acquired by writing falsely, maliciously because you are paid to do so, or protecting own agenda – you’re raising up a generation of hard core liars who can look you eye to eye and will not even blink..

    In all of these, let it be known that there is a day of reckoning..

    What a man sow, so shall he reaps.. O this faithless generation! When will we learn that there is a curse from the love of mammon and money acquired through evil deeds. You may have acquired wealth, but you are deprived of peace and joy that can only come from the True source of it.

    Why is it difficult to believe that God can provide us of all our needs beyond what we can think and imagine? That every good and perfect gift comes from the Lord and He does not add anxiety into it. Seek Him first and His kingdom and His righteousness and all will be added unto you!

    If you truly love your family, you’ll despise and careful not to feed them with anything that is acquired from such despicable acts.

    A short prayer:

    O Abba Father, open our eyes that we can see, open our ears that we can hear! Change our heart of stone to a heart of flesh. Help us to examine our ways -for here on earth our days are numbered. We are just like bubbles that are here now and in the wink of an eye is gone.

    Let revival happen first in every hearts. Help us learn to seek You, Your Kingdom and Your Righteousness. Unless Jesus Christ enters a heart – all efforts will be futile. Hence, we decide this moment and we welcome Jesus into our hearts. Forgive us from all our sins! Change us O Lord! Grant us holy life. Holy Spirit lead us for we are weak in our human nature.

    Help us see things through Your eyes. Be the driver of this life! For You bought us in such a price. – it is Jesus precious blood that cleanses all our sins. Now, all the things I confessed – I believe in my heart that I received it and I am now a new creation in You. In Jesus most awesome Name I pray! Amen!

    Heavenward in Jesus!

  4. Just 7 months ago several killings a day were happening all over the country. Nobody was arrested but the media did not blame the government, the Department of Justice or the PNP chief. Now there are still killings happening but several policemen have already been sacked and are facing charges but the media is blaming the government. During the time of Aquino, Roxas and DeLima the police officers who were going after criminals were sacked while those who were involved in crime and illegal drugs were promoted. There is hope for the Philippines if Duterte, Aguirre and dela Rosa continue their concerted efforts against criminality and illegal drugs.

  5. armando flores on

    Camp Crame is a crime scene inhabited and ruled by criminals. Policemen now can easily commit crimes because they are no longer considered subject to the rule of law. Note that the Korean victim and a househelper were taken from their residence in Pampanga and brought to Camp Crame by the policemen without a WARRANT OF ARREST. By just falsely claiming that the Korean was involved in illegal drugs, the policemen were able to kidnap and extort money from their victim. SIGURADONG AABUSUHIN PA NG MARAMING KAPULISAN itong drug war ng gobierno. This country is going nowhere but to a dictatorship.

  6. People don’t kid yourself. What makes you expect heinous crimes will disappear like a bubble. The fact of the matter is that, there have been so many crimes similar to this in the past. Blaming the top for such events is irrational when the truth is, crimes has lessen but never fade away. We don’t live in paradise.

  7. what are you waiting for Bato? 8 bullets(2 for General) and problems solved , better PNP and nation safe. Koreans will be your best friend forever.

  8. It seems that heinous crime like kidnapping and murder happened before the very nose of the PNP chief Gen. Bato. Its ironic that under his watch he has no clue what’s going on…. if this had happened on any previous administration watch, the mass media will be hysterical for asking the head of Gen. Bato and the President. But now, the mere mention of the two famous personalities, majority of the columnist are peeing on their pants because of fear. No wonder the majority of the populations at ill inform because the trolls of Du30 bearer of false news and self adulation to Du30 murk the truth.