MANILA—A total of three National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officials and five other respondents are expected to appear at the resumption of the Department of Justice (DOJ) reinvestigation of the kidnap-slay case of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.
The DOJ panel composed of Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Olivia Torrevillas, who handle the re-investigation on the kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention with homicide case set the hearing on Thursday at 2 p.m. where the respondents are set to file their respective counter-affidavits in response to the accusations against them.
The Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG) filed the case against policemen tagged in Jee’s abduction – Senior Police Officer 3 (SPO3) Ricky Sta. Isabel, who was tagged as the prime suspect in the case, former PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group-Pampanga (AIDG) head Superintendent Rafael Dumlao III, SPO4 Roy Villegas, Gerardo Santiago, owner of the Gream funeral parlor, Jerry Omlang, and Ramon Yalung.
The PNP-AKG said that based on Dumlao’s statement, the three NBI officials – former NBI deputy director for investigation services Jose “Jojo” Yap; former National Capital Region (NCR) director Ricardo Diaz and former Task Force against Illegal Drugs head Roel Bolivar – have also been named as new respondents in the charges.
Also included in the respondents are five employees of Gream funeral parlor identified as Epephany Gotera; Teodolito Macato Tarepe; Kevin Enriquez; Robert John Tobias and Bernardo Maraya; while other suspects tagged in the case were identified only through aliases “Pulis,” and several John Does.
Aside from added respondents, PNP-AKG added four criminal charges against the suspects.
The 11-page complaint signed by Luzon Field Unit (LFU)-AKG Chief Sr. Supt. Rodolfo Castil said that aside from kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention with homicide charges include charges of robbery, carnapping, falsification of document and obstruction of justice.
Castil said that robbery committed on Oct. 18, 2016 by four ATM withdrawals in the amount of PHP20,000 cash each withdrawal using Jee Ick Joo’s BPI Master Car at BPI Bank Greenhills in San Juan City.
The violation of carnapping of one Ford Explorer with plate no. ABT-1915 owned by the victim while falsification of public document on victim’s death certificate on Oct. 19, 2016 at Caloocan City.
In a related development, Angeles City, Pampanga Regional Trial Court Branch 58 Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr., ordered the withdrawal of the petition for bail one of the accused Ramon Yalung.
”In today’s hearing on the petition for bai, accused-movant Ramon Yalung appeared and withdrew his petition,” Pangilinan said in his one-page order dated Feb. 28.
In a five-page petition for bail, Ramon Yalung said the investigation result of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) did not identify him as one of those who participated in the abduction and killing of Jee.
He added that co-accused Villegas and Omlang, who both admitted their participation to the crime did not name him as their cohort.
“Jerry Omlang and SPO4 Roy Villegas both did not name herein accused as part of the group who abducted, detained and later killed Jee Ick Joo. Neither did they mention his presence in the crime scene on that day,” the petition stated.
Yalung said his name was only dragged into the case because of the Toyota Innova with plate number TXS-763 owned by his mother was seen trailing the vehicles that abducted Jee.
To recall, the Jan. 17 resolution penned by Torrevillas only named three accused in the kidnapping for ransom with homicide case: Sta. Isabel, Villegas and Yalung while other suspects tagged in the case were identified only through aliases “Pulis,” “Ding,” “Jerry,” and “Sir Dumlao.”
The resolution was received by the Pampanga Regional Trial Court Branch 58. The local court granted primary suspect Sta. Isabel’s request for reinvestigation.
RTC Judge Pangilinan gave the DOJ 60 days “to conduct the reinvestigation and to submit the resolution.”
The court also reset the arraignment of the accused to April 19.