THE Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on Tuesday turned down a request of the wife of Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Santa Isabel, the alleged mastermind in the kidnapping and killing of a South Korean businessman, to testify before the committee on Thursday, saying her testimony might put the committee in trouble.
According to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, he decided not to allow Santa Isabel’s wife, Jinky, to testify tomorrow because apart from her testimony being mere hearsay, the committee may be made liable for wiretapping.
Lacson has called for a Senate inquiry, in aid of legislation, into the case of Jee Ick Joo, who was killed by alleged members of the Anti-illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) of the Philippine National Police inside Camp Crame–PNP general headquarters in Quezon City, last October.
The committee has invited to the Senate hearing PNP chief Ronald dela Rosa, the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) head Glen Dumlao, lawyer Rafael Dumlao of the AIDG, SPO4 Rey Villegas, who was among those who joined the operation, and the wife of Jee.
“I did not allow her [Jinky] because her testimony will only be based on hearsay,” Lacson explained.
Jinky has been giving media interviews insisting that her husband is innocent and that he is being made a fall guy to protect those who are really responsible for the crime.
She claimed having an audio recording of her conversation with Rafael Dumlao that according to her would reveal a supposed plan to cover up the involvement of Glen Dumlao.
But Lacson said he is not interested in the supposedly recorded conversation because the committee might even be accused of wiretapping if it listened to the recording.
“We cannot allow that [recording]to be played here because we are prohibited [from]participating in an illegal act because that is illegal wiretapping,” he told reporters.
Instead of allowing the wife to testify, Lacson said, the committee would just invite Santa Isabel himself, if the PNP would allow it.
“We want to hear from the person himself rather than listening to hearsay,” he added.
Lacson said the committee wants to find out if the case of the slain South Korean was isolated or there were similar cases that happened in the past that were not reported to the police.
The senator said they have been receiving information about incidents similar to Jee’s case and they want to find out the truth behind them. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA