SC turns down Korean fugitive request for writ of amparo

By , on June 24, 2015

The Supreme Court of the Philippines building. (Photo by Mike Gonzalez / Wikimedia Commons.)
The Supreme Court of the Philippines building. (Photo by Mike Gonzalez / Wikimedia Commons.)

MANILA – With a 13-0 vote, the Philippine Supreme Court (SC) ruled that Ja Hoon Ku, a Korean contractor and fugitive, was not entitled to a writ of amparo or the protection against authorities seeking his arrest.

Ku, who was the contractor of the Iglesia Ni Cristo’s (INC) Philippine Arena, was wanted for stealing $200-million from a Korean company.

He was then arrested by the Immigration and Manila police as requested by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) of Seoul, South Korea.

Prior the SC’s resolution, Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Paulino Gallegos primarily granted Ku’s appeal of a writ of amparo, as the Korean national claimed that he feared for his life should he be caught by the Korean authorities. The lower court had then issued a temporary protection order for Ku and his family.

Bureau of Immigration Chief Siegfred Mison, however, questioned the lower court’s ruling and brought the matter to the SC, which stated that Ku’s claim was unfounded. Ku was then ordered to remain under the BI’s custody, where he had been since January 16 this year.

“This does not satisfy the burden required by the Rules on the Writ of Amparo, which places the burden on petitioner to substantiate his claims,” the SC said.

Ku, for his part, sent appeals to the Office of the President, the Department of Justice, and the Manila RTC. The SC, however, dismissed Ku’s move as ‘forum shopping,’ which was the practice of having legal cases heard in the court that would most likely result to a favorable judgment.