Speaker tells Bato to resign


    HOUSE Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Friday called on Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa to resign over the abduction and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo at the hands of the police right inside the PNP’s Camp Crame headquarters.

    PRIME SUSPECT ARRESTED Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Santa Isabel (center) is escorted by personnel of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Philippine National Police after being served a warrant of arrest for the killing of Korean executive Jee Ick Joo. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

    Alvarez joined the growing call for the PNP chief to quit after police arrested the policeman said to have been responsible for the killing, Senior Police Officer (SPO) 3 Ricky Santa Isabel, who had surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

    “[De la Rosa] should immediately resign as chief of the PNP to save President Rodrigo Duterte from further embarrassment and restore respect to the Office of the PNP Chief,” Alvarez said in a statement.

    “The commission of a heinous crime right under his very nose is not only an insult but a clear indication that he has lost the respect of his people,” he added.

    De la Rosa on Thursday said he would kill the policemen involved if he had his way and that he wanted to melt in shame after learning that the South Korean was killed inside a sport utility vehicle in Camp Crame, on a spot beside the PNP chief’s office.

    Alvarez described the incident as a meltdown of PNP discipline.

    “General de la Rosa seems more interested in having a showbiz career and in landing on society pages of newspapers with his being everywhere doing mundane things like singing videoke and watching concerts,” the Davao del Norte lawmaker said.

    Alvarez also called out de la Rosa for the latter’s apparent cowardice, as shown by a video of the PNP chief running away from a news conference in December “like a headless chicken” after the pyrotechnic device he was holding started to smoke.

    “How can we believe the stern statements de la Rosa had been making against criminals like in the aftermath of the Davao City bombing, when he was the first to run in the slightest possibility of danger?”

    ‘Isolated case’

    The PNP spokesman, Sr. Supt. Dionardo Carlos, said the killing was an “isolated case” and it would be unfair to place the onus of the blame on de la Rosa.

    “Every day, crime is happening so every day we’ll have a new PNP chief if that case is going to be their basis for the chief to resign,” he said in a news conference in Camp Crame on Friday. “You don’t judge the chief for the wrong of one,” he added.

    Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd said the decision should be left to President Rodrigo Duterte, while a key administration ally, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, told reporters there was no need for de la Rosa to resign.

    While Cayetano said he believes in the doctrine of command responsibility, it would be difficult for the PNP chief to monitor every move of the more than 1,000 personnel in Camp Crame.

    “I am not calling for his courtesy resignation, I think he’s doing a good job,” said Cayetano.

    Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a former PNP chief, said the abduction and killing of Jee should serve as a wake-up call to the police hierarchy. “The PNP leadership should lose no time in addressing the issue by henceforth going hammer and tongs against all rogue cops who only care about their personal gains to the detriment of the entire police organization,” he said.

    Opposition lawmakers condemned the killing, with Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat saying it was a “huge slap to the anti-corruption drive of the administration.”

    Rep. Harry Roque of Kabayan party-list, a Duterte ally, warned that the Philippine government could be held liable under the international law.

    “Under international law, a state may be held liable for failure to protect the life of foreign nationals in its territory….Since the suspected killers are members of the PNP, they acted as agents of the Philippine government regardless of the illegality of their acts,” he said.

    Custody transferred

    Santa Isabel, the prime suspect in the killing of the Korean executive, was transferred from the custody of the NBI to the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City late afternoon on Friday.

    He was released by the NBI after Angeles City Regional Trial Court Judge Ireneo Pangilinan Jr. issued a warrant of arrest against the policeman for the murder of Jee Ick Joo last October 19.

    Aside from Santa Isabel, also named in the arrest warrant were SPO4 Roy Villegas, SPO4 Ramon Yalung, and four others identified only as “Pulis,” “Jerry,” “Sir Dumlao” and “Ding,” who was identified in earlier reports as barangay (village) chairman Gerardo Santiago, the ex-policeman who owns the Caloocan City funeral parlor where Jee’s remains were processed.

    Villegas and Police Office 2 Christopher Baldovino claim Santa Isabel tricked them into believing the operation was a legitimate one.

    NBI Director Dante Gierran told reporters Santa Isabel was released to the police Anti-Kidnaping Group (AKG) to avoid conflict.

    AKG men went to NBI yesterday and picked up Santa Isabel at 6:31 p.m. Santa Isabel wore a white shirt and a bulletproof vest. He smiled to the media as he walked from the NBI detention cell to a convoy of more than 10 police cars.

    Before his transfer, Camp Crame police presented a copy of the arrest warrant to the NBI Special Task Force handling the case since Santa Isabel’s surrender on Sunday evening.

    Santa Isabel allegedly killed Jee by strangulation on the evening of October 19 right inside Camp Crame. He was brought to the Gream funeral parlor in Caloocan and then cremated.

    Jee was abducted from his house in Angeles City on October 18, after the group of Santa Isabel presented a fake warrant of arrest for drug trafficking against the Korean national. Marisa Morquicho, Jee’s househelp, was also allegedly abducted.

    Santa Isabel was said to have extorted P5 million from Jee’s wife, Choi Kyung Jin, even after killing the Korean executive.

    The Public Attorney’s Office will represent Santa Isabel in court proceedings after private lawyers refused to handle his case, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd said.

    Santa Isabel volunteered to be placed under the Witness Protection Program of the Justice department but was declined, as he was not the “least guilty.”

    Santa Isabel’s wife, Jinky, went to the Justice department yesterday but Aguirre declined to give details of their conversation.

    “She talked about many things but I could not reveal. I will wait for the sworn statement,” he said in a text message.

    Ding, Santa Isabel ‘friends’

    Caloocan City Mayor Oscar Malapitan said Santiago, the funeral parlor owner, was a known associate of Santa Isabel.

    Malapitan told reporters Santiago and Santa Isabel were formerly assigned to the Northern Police District.
    Santiago has been chairman of Barangay Bagbaguin in Caloocan for more than six years.

    Investigators found that Santiago got P30,000 and a golf set from Jee’s abductors as payment for the embalmment of the Korean executive’s remains.

    The golf set with 14 clubs was found inside Gream Funeral Services by operatives of the NBI and Caloocan City police on the night of January 18.

    Jee’s wife confirmed that the golf set was owned by her husband.



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    1. Speaker Alvarez keeps showing that he is part of the problem of the Philippines. #Lenileaks came out and the lower house did not even investigate. For your information Mr. Alvarez, we the Filipino people have been waiting for Congress to prepare impeachment articles against Leni Robredo and transmit them to the senate ASAP. You have been sleeping on the job instead of representing the people’s interests. You should resign!

    2. The yellows and narcos bombed Davao city and killed the Korean businessman in Crane to shame PPRD and Chief Bato before the world. Both cases were solved quickly and the suspects brought to justice. The yellows and narcos failed again but they will do more damage to the Philippines because they are desperate.

    3. A bomb exploded in Davao and the bombers were arrested. A Korean businessman was kidnapped and murdered in Crame and the kidnappers/murderers were arrested. You want PNP Chief dela Rosa to resign after solving these crimes quickly, making over a million drug personalities surrender and reducing the galloping crime rate by 32% in just six months? Speaker Alvarez you must be one of those impacted by the huge loss of illegal drugs income due to the PNP campaign against illegal drugs. Why have you done nothing about the narco politicians in the halls of congress?

    4. Kahit pa magpapalit-palit ka pa ng PNP Chief araw-araw eh talagang meron at merong lalabas na mga hudas dyan sa PNP. Baket? Eh sinu sino ba yung nuon at ngayon, eh di ba yung dati rin. Yang mga yan kunwari lang nagbago pero supalpalan mo ng 3 mukha (ung pera natin nandun sina Josefa Llanes Escoda, Jose Abad Santos and Vicente Lim) sigurado akong magniningning ang mga mata nyan. Dahil kahit pa gaano kalaki ang sahod ng mga yan, hinidi pa rin sila titigil sa mga katarantaduhan dahil “INHERENT” na sa kanila yan. I am not saying all PNP are corrupt, but there are still a lot of them there. They need to weed out and weed out good…

    5. Kalokohan. Alvarez has no jurisdiction to instruct the PNP Chief to resign. The PNP Chief is under the jurisdiction of the executive branch, Alvarez is on the legislative. Kung gusto nyang pumapel, then he should request a congressional hearing (in aid of legislation of course) regarding sa kaso, then make recommendations based on the result. E yung haharap ka sa media for pogi points, ano ba yon? Just do your respective jobs, tama na epal.

    6. Juan Dela Cruz on

      Speaker Alvarez should resign too, following command responsibility, for the implication of two congressmen in the DRUG LIST.
      I don’t know what is in the head of the Speaker, but the way I discern this, he may be vouching for another PNP Chief who can give favors and leniency to “friends” of the Speaker on their “HIDDEN AGENDA”

    7. Kindly scrutinize those application to perform and want to study at Philippine Police Academy? As far as I understand those Policeman who were now on duty, were graduated from Philippine Police Academy or some private schools like , Philippine College of Criminilogy. Is this what they learn from this Institution , to became criminal people?? The question to my mind is, how this people became Policeman???
      Mr. Bato Dela Rosa, do not resign, this is only an isolated case. But Please discipline your people with your Iron Fist. First, check the BioData/Resume of your people and EVALUATE them carefully, if they were really deserve to become Policeman.., otherwise disqualified them immediately, If they were not qualified as per your STANDARD as Policeman..I saw mostly of Policeman they were rude and disrespectful to the citizens. Is that the way they learn from their school or in Police Academy, to become notorious and rude to our people??

    8. “Knowing and trusting” a person is not enough. He (Gen. Bato) should possess the inner and outer quality of what to be the top cop of the land. He should have the brain, audacity, swagger and calmness to project total/complete control of his men and the situation. Never threaten your brother in uniform (scalawags or right-minded) policemen with clench fist or gesture of squeezing the trigger. “Praise in public, reprimand in private”. Let the spokesmen deal with media.

    9. in this current situation the guilty will walk free just like the ones in the Espinosa slay case

    10. ano ngayon ang say mo idiot digong. prove to the world you are brave and transparent and honest leader by firing Bato and all scalawags in the police force. the US now is laughing at you. lets see the after effect of this barbaric crime. it does not look good for investors all I can say. you will have to answer to the declining supporters and people.

    11. Since there will always be extremely bad elements in the government, in private sectors,etc an appropriate deterrent, quick effective, unhampered action against them should be put in place immediately.

      DP is on of them, unobstructed gathering of intel and information is another.

      But most of all removing the old criminal-lords-generals, trapo politicians, shady businessmen, traitor regulators, might also help.

      Firing squad for enforcers/criminals.

      Senators, congressmen should act timely and promptly, instead of just wasting a lot of precious resources, trying to grandstand but actually fooling and hoodwinking the people. Instead of wasting resources about ethics, a basic trait of which senate/congress possess only in their dreams, these institutions must deal with this serious problem of law-enforcers-criminals effectively (means move quickly/timely) and respond to the real problems and challenges; and not just go about the usual monkey business of grandstanding and not so funny clowning.

      Otherwise the only way is to change the government system is an iron hand.

      For instance, remove the rotten elements immediately, investigate later. Pretensions of “justice system, due process” is just paralyzing the work of trying to establish and maintain basic peace and order.

      • Exactly….crimes will fade away if criminals will be dead and gone away forever…..serving them in prison alive costs a lot of money for the tiring, Filipino who paid their taxes diligently…..but in reality there fewer jobs in the country and there’s a family of four who can’t even eat 3 meals a day.. But these criminals the can even bribe meryerdas to the prison guards…..

      • They could start with the 140 members of congress who stole the pork barrel fund.
        Aquino and De Lima conspired to protect all of them from charges only arresting 3 opposition senators and allowing the other 137 to keep the kickbacks.

    12. Alvarez also called out de la Rosa for the latter’s apparent cowardice, as shown by a video of the PNP chief running away from a news conference in December “like a headless chicken” after the pyrotechnic device he was holding started to smoke.

      Who wouldn’t if you’re the one holding a pyrotechnic device not knowing when it will explode.

      • agree with the speaker. i respect him more in this aspect than the DO DIRTY pawns and sheeps like Cayetano and Pimentel. I completely lost my trust to these unprincipled senators. they are far different from their fathers.

    13. “Civility is not a sign of weakness”, according to US President John F. Kennedy. PDG De La Rosa maybe a convivial, sociable and good-natured fellow but behind that facade is an audacious, strong-willed and courageous police officer who means well for his country. He was President DU30’s choice for PNP Chief not only because the president knows and trusts him but also believes he can deliver the goods so to speak in the war against drugs and corruption. This is the first time in the PNP’s history where we have a PNP chief who is easily approachable He is like President DU30 who speaks freely openly about his thoughts. Remember the time when he voluntarily blurted out, without being asked, it was Senator Pacquao who shouldered his expenses to go to Las Vegas. He was only being truthful. That is a trait that people admire of him, being open and transparent. Let us not jump on him for an incident that can happen in any organization, Maybe this can serve as a wake up call for him to monitor closely the people around him. Mabuhay ka General De La Rosa ! Do not let the noise distract you from your work.

    14. this will scare away investors and tourists. Philippines will remain the sick man of the world. I’m not proud to be a Filipino anymore.

    15. You don’t judge the chief for the wrong of one
      What about the 24 police who murdered Espinosa and Yap in a jail cell.
      Even the NBI said “Mayor Espinosa was murdered, defenseless”

      “General de la Rosa seems more interested in having a showbiz career and in landing on society pages of newspapers with his being everywhere doing mundane things like singing videoke and watching concerts,”
      Espinosa and Yap were murdered by the police while Chief Bato was attending Pacquiao’s fight in the United States. A free trip paid for by Senator Pacquiao, after only 6 months on the job.

      “I am not calling for his courtesy resignation, I think he’s doing a good job,” said Cayetano.
      Cayetano should resign, Cayetano the pork barrel fund to Napoles in exchange for campaign funds.
      At the very least he should be barred from any government position after he gave millions of the people’s money to a scam artist.

    16. I still remember the QC police that kidnapped a Fortuner in the middle of EDSA. Too much power in the hands of the police. Too much money to steal. These are recipes for corruption.

    17. Command Responsibility should be the norm. It is apparent that General De La Rosa can not control his own men as the killing happened in just a few steps from his office. The President must let HIM go.

    18. Carlotta Fuentes on

      The PNP Chief doesn’t have to resign, but to take a firm decision and action regarding this matter, as a responsible Chief of peace and order in PH. His frustration is understandable but he must use his power to regain respect in his own unit especially to the eyes of the public. The foreigners in PH and the outside World are watching what actions will be taken now. Does it mean the PNP Chief cannot do anything anymore because the suspect surrendered to NBI? Because the suspect expect a protection in NBI? Are PNP and NBI not supposed to be collaborating? Or NBI involved in racketeering conspiracy with the police suspect Sta Isabel? Well, well cleaning up is absolutely necessary, remove all the bad ones and give the new good honest Filipinos a job in the police corps..there are many jobless that are loyal and has integrity, start with them..Bato can handle that, be more tougher, show us what you can…

    19. Congressmen Pantaleon Alvarez call for Gen. Bato to resign is premature and likely shows his inner feelings regarding the administration of President Duterte, that is: he is not actually supporting the Administration’s efforts to curb the proliferation of illegal drugs in the Philippines. This is the opportune time waited by Congressman Alvarez to gain points for his ambition for higher office. To be in the limelight is his main purpose, not to help the Administration to succeed in its efforts to curb the use of illegal drugs. Otherwise, he could have chosen to temper down the call of Gen. Bato’s resignation. The job of Gen. Bato is very delicate, dangerous, humongous and life-threatening. Compared to the job of Congressmen Alvarez, it is no contest because a law maker has no other responsibility but to serve his constituents but Gen. Bato has to serve the entire nation to keep peace and order. To serve a big organization, such as the PNP, requires sincerity, dedication, and honesty. Gen. Bato might be weak in other aspects of life, such as his demeanor to socialize among the people, but he has the right heart and mind to pursue his assigned job and responsibilities. He should be encouraged to do more by ferreting out those who are unfit to don the Uniforms. Let us remember, it is very hard to manage and control people of different characters than to tend and manage a thousands of herds.

    20. kick all active PNP personnel, from top to bottom. have them re-apply and re-assessed. have AFP take charge of police matters for the meantime while DILG recruits a stricter batch of soon to be PNP personnel.

      • Agreed, The police just make excuses and and minimize the problem.
        Clean up the government or nothing will ever change.
        Arrest all the pork barrel thieves in congress that Aquino and De Lima protected.