MANILA—National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Dante Gierran on Thursday ordered the immediate relief and reshuffle of four NBI officials from their posts in connection to the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.
Gierran said the move is due to the allegations and statement of former PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group – Pampanga (AIDG) head Superintendent Rafael Dumlao stating the involvement of some NBI personnel in Jee’s abduction.
But Gierran earlier stated that there is no participation of any NBI agent in the abduction incident.
The NBI officials who were ordered relieved from their posts were NBI National Capital Region Director Ricardo Diaz; NBI Deputy Director for Investigation for Investigation Service Jose Yap; NBI Task Force Against Illegal Drugs chief Ruel Bolivar and Head Agent Darwin Lising.
Gierran said that Diaz was relieved of his duties and was ordered to return to his mother unit in Regional Operations Services while Assistant Regional Director Rommel Vallejo will replace him as the officer-in-charge of the NBI-NCR.
Yap was relieved as Deputy Director for Investigative Services and was reassigned as officer-in-charge of the Information and Communications Technology Division (ICTD)
Atty. Vicente De Guzman will replace Yap as Deputy Director for Investigative Services while Bolivar was relieved from his post and was assigned to the Office of the Director.
Meanwhile, Atty. Sixto Burgos will be the Deputy Director for Intelligence while Atty. Jonathan Galicia will be designated as head of the task force against illegal drugs.
Lising, meanwhile will be assigned to Bicol.
Lising, who met Jerry Omlang in 2007 when he was assigned at the NBI’s Anti-Human Trafficking Division, clarified that the latter is not an NBI agent but an errand boy or “striker” doing menial jobs for the NBI agents with no salary.
Omlang is one of the suspects who forcibly took the South Korean businessman from his home in a supposed anti-narcotics operation.
Gierran clarified that Omlang is neither an employee nor an “asset” of the NBI.
In a related development, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday issued a memorandum ordered the Gierran to check on all of its agents, informants and strikers to ensure that they are not involved in illegal activities.
”In order to prevent the alleged proliferation of abusive confidential informants and determine who pose as “Confidential Informants”, you are hereby directed to conduct a inventory of all NBI Confidential Informants in the country. Further, you are to make a report on the status of those Confidential Informants whose contracts were no longer renewed and whether they were already cleared by your bureau fro their accountabilities,” Aguirre said in his memorandum.
Meanwhile, Gierran, together with PNP chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa, on Wednesday met at the office of Senator Panfilo Lacson. The two have agreed to conduct a joint investigation to solve Jee’s abduction and killing.
For the police, team leader will be Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, head of PNP’s Anti-Kidnapping Group and for the NBI, the team leader will be Assistant Director Atty. Medardo Delemos
On Wednesday, the DOJ summoned Supt. Rafael Dumlao and other accused in the controversial kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo to attend the reinvestigation of the case which it set on February 3, Friday.
Aside from Dumlao, the DOJ also summoned SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas; SPO4 Ramon Yalung; PO2 Christopher Baldovino; striker or errand boy from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Jerry Omlang alias ‘Jerry’; Gerardo “Ding” Santiago, owner of Gream Funeral Homes and Christopher Alan Gruenberg, the owner of the Nissan Exalta that was allegedly in the convoy of vehicles used in abducting Jee.
Santiago and Omlang have already surrendered to the NBI while Sta. Isabel was also brought to the bureau after the Angeles City court ordered his transfer from the PNP.
The respondents are expected to appear during the re-investigation of the case at Executive Meeting room 1 in DOJ on Friday at 2 p.m. and answer the complaints against them.
The DOJ panel composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Olivia Torrevillas.
“Under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by law and pursuant to the order of the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City Branch 58 dated January 30, 2017 you are hereby summoned to appear at the Executive Meeting Room 1, Department of Justice, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila on February 3, 2017 at 2 p.m. in connection with the reinvestigation of the above-entitled case,’ the order signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera said.
Last Monday, Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr., of Branch 58 Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) directed the DoJ to conduct a reinvestigation on charges of kidnapping for ransom with homicide against Sta. Isabel and submit the resolution within 60 days or until March 3.
The court also reset the arraignment of the accused to April 19.
Jee’s wife, Choi Kyunghin, 53, said his husband was forcibly taken by eight armed men on Oct. 18 from his residence and had not been located until now.
His family paid PHP5 million ransom money on Oct. 30 but he was never released.
The abductors asked for an additional PHP4 million but failed to produce proof that the victim was still alive, prompting Choi to seek police’s assistance.