Cop involved in abduction of S. Korean businessman surrenders to NBI

MANILA — The police officer allegedly involved in the kidnapping of a South Korean national in Angeles City, Pampanga last year surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

In a press conference on Monday, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Monday confirmed that SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel is now under NBI custody.

The PNP chief said the information came from Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

According to NBI-Public Information Head Nicanor Suarez, Sta. Isabel surrendered to NBI on Sunday.

”I don’t have the exact time but according to the head of NBI task force against illegal drugs Roel Bolivar, yesterday (Sunday), he went to the NBI nag pa custody siya he is now with the NBI,” Suarez said in a phone interview.

When asked if they will turnover Sta. Isabel to the PNP, Suarez said that they have not yet received any instructions on the matter.

At present, he noted that Sta.Isabel refuses to give any statement.

Last Friday, Aguirre assigned Prosecution Attorney Loverhette Jeffrey Villordon to handle the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) complaint of kidnapping and serious illegal detention against the suspects who kidnapped Jee Ick Joo, a South Korean businessman.

Aguirre vowed to expedite the resolution of the complaints regarding the incident, which gained traction as the suspects allegedly carried out the crime by doing a search operation in relation to the government’s war on drugs.

Aguirre designated Villordon to replace Assistant State Prosecutor Hjalmar Quintana, who had inhibited from the complaints for kidnapping for ransom and serious illegal detention in relation to Jee’s disappearance.

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

Choi has already offered a PHP100,000 reward for anyone who could give information on the whereabouts of her husband.

Atty. Brian Bantilan, lawyer of Choi said that Quintana reportedly inhibited after respondents accused him of being biased against them.

Bantilan said that one of the respondents was a former anti-narcotics policeman who was also involved earlier the kidnapping incident.

The lawyer said the incident has been reported as a kidnapping-for-ransom case after the victim’s wife said that she had already paid PHP5-million ransom last Oct. 31 but the abductors had demanded another PHP4 million from them.

PNP AKG believes it has an air-tight case against Sta. Isabel and several other suspects charged for the alleged kidnapping of Jee.

Sr. Supt Glenn Dumlao, AKG Acting Director, said Sta. Isabel was among several suspects facing charges of Kidnapping for Ransom and Serious Illegal Detention filed before the DOJ in connection with the abduction of Jee.

Sta. Isabel continues to defy the orders of Chief PNP, Director General Ronald M Dela Rosa to submit himself under restrictive custody to ensure his availability to face further investigation in connection with the kidnapping case.

Dumlao said that Sta. Isabel was identified as among several men who was seen in security camera footages as shoving Jee into a waiting vehicle. AKG investigators were also able to established Sta. Isabel’s presence at the crime scene before, during and after the kidnapping based on CCTV footages, visitor’s logbook, and testimony of security guards.

The suspect was also seen in a surveillance video recording while making a series of withdrawals from Jee’s ATM account, Dumlao said.

Dumlao also disclosed records of Sta. Isabel’s alleged involvement in the kidnapping of a certain Mylene Tan.

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