DoJ prosecutors end re-investigation of Jee kidnap-slay raps

MANILA- The Department of Justice (DOJ) panel of prosecutors conducted a preliminary investigation and decided to submit for resolution on the re-investigation of the kidnap-slay case of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.

After several hearings, DOJ panel made up of Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Olivia Torrevillas announced that they were terminating their re-investigation in order to be able to complete their 60-day re-investigation deadline set by the Angeles court.

Since the Angeles Pampanga Regional Trial Court Branch 58 only gave prosecutors 60 days within which "to conduct the reinvestigation and to submit the resolution, Navera said that it would be "bordering on contempt if we extend beyond the April 19 deadline."

During the Friday hearing, the additional respondent Sr. Supt. Allan Macapagal, former member of the Philippine National Police-Anti-Kidnapping Group (PNP-AKG), submitted his counter-affidavit.

Macapagal, who failed to appear last Friday (March 10) hearing because he was assigned in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit, was given until March 17 to submit his counter-affidavit.

It was reported that Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, one of the respondents, allegedly pointed to Macapagal and PNP-Anti-Illegal Drugs Group (AIDG) Supt. Rafael Dumlao as the brains behind the kidnapping and killing of Jee.

Macapagal, who is now assigned with the Iloilo City Police Station, said in his counter-affidavit that he was not involved in the kidnap-slay of Korean Jee Ick Joo.

"The instant complaint should be dismissed outright for lack of probable cause. This complaint is a malicious prosecution of innocent persons instituted just to vex and humiliate the PNP-AKG for lawful performance of police duties," Macapagal said in his eight-page counter-affidavit.

Macapagal indicated that he got dragged into the cased based on the allegations made the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

"At best, public complainant NBI rested on guesswork, and presumptions to pin down respondents," Macapagal said.

The NBI indicated that the AKG, which also conducted an investigation in kidnap-slay case, found Jee's golf set last Jan. 18 at the Gream Funeral Services in Caloocan City even though it was not found during a previous search conducted by the bureau. Gream was where the remains of Jee was taken for disposal.

The NBI claimed that "the raiding AKG Team allegedly found the golf set in the said place is incredible and impossible" and that "logic and reason dictate that the only reason why it was found there by the raiding team is that they themselves planted the golf set."

Macapagal also accused the NBI of backing up the allegations by using the statements of other suspects, namely, Jerry Omlang, Gream owner Gerardo Santiago, his common-law-wife Epephany Gotera, and Gream employees Teodolito Macato Tarepe, Kevin Enriquez, Robert John Tobias, and Bernardo Maraya Jr.

"Aside from sweeping and bare allegations, there is no evidence that respondents planted the golf set in Gream Funeral Services," he added.

According to records of the case, Santiago allegedly agreed to dispose the remains of Jee in exchange for Php 30,000 and a golf set.

Aside from Macapagal, Dumlao and Sta Isabel, the respondents in the complaint were SPO4 Roy Villegas, Gerardo Santiago, owner of the Gream funeral parlor, Jerry Omlang, Ramon Yalung, former NBI-National Capital Region Director Ricardo Diaz, former NBI deputy director for investigation services Jose Yap, former NBI Task Force against Illegal Drugs head Roel Bolivar; while five employees of Gream funeral 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.

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 court also reset the arraignment of the accused to April 19.

Source: Philippines News Agency