Police tagged in slay of Korean won’t be state witness, says Justice secretary

By on January 19, 2017

MANILA –One of the policemen involved in the kidnapping and slay of a Korean national would not be a state witness after he was identified as the alleged killer, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said.

“We will not put [Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky] Sta. Isabel under our Witness Protection Program (WPP),” Aguirre said in a text message.

The DOJ found probable cause to file kidnap for ransom with homicide raps against Sta. Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas, Ramon Yalung and four people identified only under the aliases “Pulis,” “Jerry,” “Sir Dumlao” and “Ding” in relation to the disappearance of businessman Jee Ick Joo.

The DOJ said the kidnapping and serious illegal detention complaints filed by the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) against the suspects was upgraded to kidnapping for ransom with homicide due to the testimonies of Villegas.

In a seven-page resolution, the DOJ said Villegas gave a detailed narration of the abduction and the eventual killing of the victim.

In his narration, Villegas said Sta. Isabel brought a packaging tape and surgical gloves and ordered them to cover the head of the victim and follow him.

“He finally recalls seeing respondent Sta. Isabel strangling and killing the victim,” the DOJ resolution said.

Earlier, Aguirre admitted that they have considered turning Sta. Isabel as state witness because of his extensive knowledge about Jee’s kidnapping.

However, he clarified that he never made a commitment to place him under the WPP.

“There was no change of heart. I never said I will put him under the WPP,” he added.

Aguirre issued an immigration lookout bulletin order against Sta. Isabel.

On Tuesday evening, the National Bureau of Investigation, together with the Caloocan police went to the funeral parlor after receiving information that Jee’s body was taken there on the same day he was abducted on Oct. 18, 2016. No body was recovered as Jee’s body had been cremated last year.

Sta. Isabel is currently under NBI custody after he surrendered last Sunday.