MANILA, Philippines—A Korean mafia operating in the Philippines may be behind the kidnapping and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa said on Friday.
Although a Korean mafia’s involvement in the kidnap-slay case has not been established, Dela Rosa said that the PNP is looking into the theory.
As to how long the mafia has been operating in the country, the PNP chief couldn’t provide further details.
Dela Rosa, however, posited that SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, a major suspect in the case, is a striker for the Korean mafia.
According to him, the mafia is extorting Korean businessmen and online gambling operators in the country, including Jee who refused to give money to them.
He added that to scare and teach Jee and other businessmen a lesson, the mafia commissioned Sta. Isabel who abducted Jee on October 18 last year, using PNP’s anti-illegal drugs operation, Oplan Tokhang, as cover.
On January 19, Dela Rosa said that Jee was murdered by policemen inside the PNP’S headquarters, Camp Crame.
A day after, his corpse was cremated at Gream Funeral Services, a funeral parlor owned by a retired cop named Gerardo Santiago.
According to Ross Jonathan Galicia, deputy chief of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Task Force Against Illegal Drugs, employees of the funeral parlor flushed the ashes of Jee on January 16 under the command of Santiago.
The Department of Justice on January 30 issued subpoenas against eight individuals tagged in the murder-slay case of Jee.
They were Ricky Sta. Isabel ; former PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group – Pampanga (AIDG) head Superintendent Rafael Dumlao; SPO4 Roy Villegas; SPO4 Ramon Yalung; PO2 Christopher Baldovino; National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) striker Jerry Omlang; Gerardo “Ding” Santiago; and Christopher Alan Gruenberg.
Jee’s murder resulted to the suspension of all anti-illegal drug operations of the government.