MANILA–After conducting another preliminary investigation upon the order of Angeles City Regional Trial Court in Pampanga, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed of string criminal cases against three policemen and two others in connection to the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo.
Those who were charged include Philippine National Police’s Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (PNP-AIDG) in Pampanga Superintendent Rafael Dumlao, Senior Police Office 3 (SPO3) Ricky Sta. Isabel and SPO4 Roy Villegas.
The DOJ also filed cases before the RTC against Dumlao, Jerry Omlang, Gerardo Gregorio Santiago a day before their scheduled arraignment on Wednesday at the sala of Angeles City RTC Branch 58 Presiding Judge Irineo PangilinanJr.
In a 47-page resolution, the DOJ found probable cause to file kidnapping for ransom with homicide to indict Dumlao, Omlang, the alleged “striker” or errand boy at the National Bureau of Investigation as well as Santiago, owner of the funeral parlor in Caloocan City where the remains of Jee was initially brought after he was killed.
Omlang and Santiago both surrendered to the NBI earlier and tagged Dumlao as the mastermind in the kidnapping of Jee.
The prosecutors concluded after hearings that Dumlao had a direct knowledge of Jee’s kidnapping and conspired with Sta. Isabel, Villegas and Omlang.
“As one of the planners of the kidnapping, Dumlao was, at the very least, a principal by inducement who was a conspirator with Sta. Isabel and the others,” the DOJ said in the 47-page resolution.
Santiago was charged as an accessory to the crime.
It would be recalled that the DOJ has originally filed kidnapping and homicide charges against Sta. Isabel and Villegas as well as several individuals identified only by their aliases.
Dumlao, Sta. Isabel, Omlang and Villegas were also charged with carnapping for taking away the Ford Explorer of Jee.
At the same time, a separate information for kidnapping and serious illegal detention were also filed against Dumlao, Sta. Isabel, Villegas, Omlang and several individuals identified only as “John Does’ for the abduction of Marisa Dawis Morquicho, the housemaid of the Jee’s in their Angeles city residence.
The DOJ said Dumlao, Sta. Isabel, Villegas and Omlang “conspired, confederated and helped one another, together with several John Does who are still at large,” to carry out the crime.
In the same resolution, the DOJ panel cleared three NBI officials implicated by Dumlao in the crime – 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.
“To us, the tangled web spun by Dumlao is incredible and a mere afterthought after he was already pinpointed by Sta. Isabel, Villegas and Omlang as one of the planners in the kidnapping,” read the resolution.
The DOJ also cleared Ramon Yalung, one of the original accused in the case.
“The only evidence that links respondent Yalung in the kidnapping of the victim is the security logbook, which indicates that one of the cars used by the Yalung family in their car rental business, a Toyota Innova (TXS 763) was inside Friendship Plaza Subdivision when the abduction took place,” the DOJ resolution stated.
The resolution pointed out that none of the other accused—Sta. Isabel, Villegas and Omlang identified Yalung as among those who took part in Jee’s abduction and eventual killing.
The DOJ also cleared Christopher Alan V. Gruenberg, owner of the black Nissan Exalta used in the abduction of Jee.
The DOJ noted that Gruenberg was able to present evidence that he already sold his vehicle in 2010. Also, the DOJ noted that Yalung, in his affidavit admitted that he is already the owner of the same vehicle which was immediately sold for PHP100,000 after the death of Jee.
The other respondents – Gream funeral employees Epephany Gotera, Teodolito Macato Tarepe, Kevin Enriquez, Robert John Tobias and Bernardo Maraya Jr. – were also cleared of the charges for lack of probable cause.
“Prescinding from these facts, the undersigned cannot as crib any criminal liability on the part of the Gream employees. It is readily apparent that they merely performed their regular work in the funeral home upon direct instructions and orders of their employers,” read the resolution.
The DOJ resolution is signed by Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro C. Navera and Olivia Laroza-Torrevillas and Assistant State Prosecutor Ethel Rea Suril. It was recommended for approval by OIC Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Lilian Doris Serranilla-Alejo and approved by Prosecutor General Victor C. Sepulveda.
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.