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1st anniversary of Korean’s murder in Crame marked

  • Written by Alfred Dalizon
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 344

THE family of murdered South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo today marks the 1st anniversary of his
killing right inside the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, a case which will go
down in Philippine history as one of the most brutal crimes involving a group of rogue police officers
and men, which triggered the abolition of the then barely month-old PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group.

The grieving Korean’s family led by his wife Choi Kyung Jin will hold a private memorial
service at the exact place where he was believed to have been strangled exactly a year ago today.
    
The family also said that lawyers of the accused led by Superintendent Raphael Dumlao and
Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel are ‘”deliberately delaying the case” and appealed to
President Duterte to make good his promise to give him justice.
    
During a Senate hearing, an emotional Jee Ick Joo’s wife appealed to the Duterte administration
to go after the killers of her husband. “Justice must be served by showing that the criminals are being
penalized and being punished for offense that they did,” Choi Kyung Jin, through an interpreter,
appealed during the Senate inquiry into the kidnapping and murder of the Hanjin Shipping Company
executive.
    
The widow said she will closely monitor the kidnap-slaying case of her husband “until justice
is served.” “It is not only the Filipino citizens but also Korean citizens in the Philippines and in
Korea keeping an eye on the situation. My husband who is in heaven is also waiting for justice to be
served,” she said.
    
An investigation conducted by the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group showed that Jee was killed on the
same day he was forcibly taken from his house in Angeles City, Pampanga on Oct. 18, 2016.
    
The kidnapping and killing of Jee was reported by the PNP last January 19. Sta. Isabel
repeatedly denied he was involved in the kidnapping and killing of Jee despite testimony of Jee’s house
helper Marissa Dawis-Morquicho that she saw Sta. Isabel when Jee was abducted and when the ransom was
withdrawn from an ATM machine.
    
Based on the logbook of the security guard of Jee’s subdivision, Sta. Isabel entered the
Friendship Subdivision eight times but Sta. Isabel also denied the information.
    
Sta. Isabel instead accused his superior, Supt. Dumlao of facilitating the kidnapping and
killing of the Korean executive. Dumlao denied Sta. Isabel’s allegations.
    
Barely a month after marking their 1st founding anniversary, officers and men of the PNP-AIDG
found themselves being left without any office after the unit was ordered disbanded by Director General
Ronald ‘Bato’ M. de la Rosa following the involvement of at least four of its men led by Dumlao in the
kidnapping and murder of the Korean.
    
According to the now jailed SPO3 Sta. Isabel, he saw the Korean being pistol-whipped before
being choked to death by Supt. Dumlao inside a vehicle parked in the area a few meters away from the
then PNP-AIDG headquarters which is now the office of the PNP Counter-Intelligence Task Force.
    
However, another AIDG member, SPO4 Roy Villegas had testified that it was Sta. Isabel who
abducted Jee and transported him to Camp Crame where he strangled the victim inside his car.
    
The involvement of the small number of AIDG personnel—the Unit has around 350 officers and men
—cast a shadow of doubt on the war on drugs in the country ordered by President Duterte when he assumed
power in July 1 last year.
    
The main figure in the crackdown, Gen. de la Rosa announced the disbandment of the PNP-AIDG and
all other PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Special Operations Task Groups on Monday in the wake of the Jee case
as well as accusations about the involvement of some anti-narcotics officers in “planting” of drug
evidence and mulcting activities in the guise of conducting Oplan: Tokhang and going after high-value
drug targets under the PNP Oplan: Double Barrel.
    
Nine months later, President Duterte would ultimately strip the PNP of any role in the anti-
narcotics campaign which he gave to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency headed by Director General
Aaron N. Aquino.
    
Ironically, the PNP-AIDG was disbanded weeks after it marked its 1st founding anniversary on
December 16, 2016 with record performances topped by the arrest of 90 drug personalities led by
suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and the confiscation of nearly P4.8 billion worth
of dangerous drugs and its manufacturing equipment.
    
Former PNP-AIDG director Senior Supt. Albert Ignatius Ferro said they were deeply saddened by
the deactivation of the AIDG.  “Those who started the AIDG are the most affected and sad. Hindi naman
konting tao lang ang winasak nila kundi isang buong institution,” he said.