Aguirre orders probe on alleged links of NBI agent to kidnap-slay of S. Korean businessman

MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday ordered the National Bureau Investigation (NBI) to conduct probe on the alleged involvement of one of its agents in the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo .

Sought for a comment, Aguirre said he issued the order after the PNP said on their investigation that the a certain “Jerry”, said to be an NBI agent is involved in the crime.

Senior Supt. Glenn Dumlao, director of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group, earlier said they are verifying if ‘Jerry’ is indeed connected with the NBI, saying that one of the respondents in the case, SPO4 Roy Villegas has pointed to the person as an NBI agent.

Aguirre said that he would not tolerate any illegal activities of his men, adding that fighting corruption and other illegal activities is part of the DOJ’s mandate.

”I already directed the NBi to see kung ano mang kinalaman nung mga NBI people.May nagsabi na sakin nyan eh well tulad ng sabi ko kahit dito sa turf ko, sa backyard ko hindi, zero ang tolerance ng corruption dito. Hindi namin tinotolerate yung ganyan.. hindi natin maaaring kunsintihin yan. kaya anybody who knows anything about corruption ng aking mga tao dito sa Department of Justice come forward and we will not tolerate (and) we are going to help you,” he told reporters.

For his part, NBI-NCR Chief Ric Diaz said they will look into the matter though he expressed skepticism that an NBI agent or asset is involved.

He said such person mighy have been misrepresenting himself as an NBI agent.

“Do you think the police will bring an NBI agent in their operation? And will an NBI agent join the police in an operation? It doesn’t happen. But, if you give me the name of that person we will be able to know whether he is an NBI agent or a person just misrepresenting himself,” Diaz told Philippines News Agency (PNA) in a text message when sought for comment.

Aguirre called on the PNP and the NBI to leave no stone unturned in their probe.

Aguirre has earlier ordered the NBI to provide security to the family of Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, a police officer tagged as one of the suspects in the kidnap-slay case.

When asked if Sta. Isabel applied for Witness Protection Program, Aguirre said Sta. Isabel, being a member of PNP and a government agent, is disqualified from being under the WPP.

“Walang nag-aapply at walang decision diyan pagkat sa ngayon ay hindi tayo maaaring magdecision kasi hindi pa natin alam kung sino ang most guilty or appearing to be the most guilty. Pag ikaw ay appearing to be the most guilty, then hindi ka maaaring tanggapin and besides, itong si Sta. Isabel is member of the police force, a government agent kaya disqualified kaagad sya under sa WPP,” he explained.

The DOJ Secretary said that awful incident on the PNP under the leadership of Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa could be a part of a wider plot to destabilize the Duterte administration by discrediting the PNP and its anti-drug campaign.

”Ang talagang thrust ng Duterte administration ngayong war on drugs, at ang simbolo nyan ay ang kapulisan sa pangunguna ni General Bato dela Rosa. Kung gusto mo i-destabilize ang Duterte administration, sisirain mo muna ang kanyang pinanghahawakan, yung kapulisan. Sirain mo si General Bato dela Rosa. Kaya yun ang tinatawag na hampas sa kalabaw, sa kabayo ang latay. Lalatay yan sa Duterte administration,” Aguirre noted.

Aguirre also backed up the decision of President Duterte told to Dela Rosa not to resign to his post as PNP Chief and there is no evidence that Dela Rosa protecting police scalawags.

”Tama lamang ang ginawa ni President Duterte na talagang hindi pa napapanahon, wala pang ebidensya na pino-protektahan nila itong mga pulis na scalawags,” he added.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez also called on Dela Rosa to resign but latter has withdraw, Aguirre said Alvarez statement is spur of the moment.

”Binawi na rin ni Speaker Bebot Alvarez yung kanyang panawagan na magresign si Bato dela Rosa. Kasi parang yung panawagan, ang tingin ko lang, yung kay Speaker Alvarez ay parang spur of the moment lang,” he said.

Jee’s wife, Choi Kyunghin, 53, said his husband was forcibly taken by eight armed men on Oct. 18 from his residence and has not been located until now.

His family paid PHP5 million ransom money on Oct. 30 but he was never released.

The abductors asked for an additional PHP4 million but failed to produce proof that the victim is still alive, prompting Choi to seek police’s assistance.

Last Jan. 17, the NBI, together with the Caloocan police went to the funeral parlor after receiving information that Jee’s body was taken there on the same day he was abducted on Oct. 18, 2016. No body was recovered as Jee’s body had been cremated last year.

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