Duterte orders Panelo to travel to Seoul, apologize to South Koreans

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday said he has ordered Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo to travel to South Korea to apologize for the murder of businessman Jee Ick Joo.

In his speech after the oath-taking of newly promoted officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the President said that he has already tasked his chief legal counsel to go to Seoul and offer a “good apology.”

“I think Panelo is going there. I told him to make a good apology,” Duterte said.

In the aftermath of the sordid incident, the President said that he had to continuously explain and had to apologize almost to every Korean who would come to Malacañang, including the Korean Ambassador, as well as to the Korean people.

“Wala tayong magawa, nangyari eh. Ang pinakabastos sa lahat, ang masakit daw sa kanila is talagang ‘yung flushing down the drain, sa toilet bowl. Nasaktan sila. Maski naman gawain sa atin ‘yan,” Duterte said.

Earlier, President Duterte apologized to South Korea for the murder of one of its national in the hands of rouge police officials exploiting the government’s anti-illegal drugs campaign for their nefarious activities.

“I apologize for the death of your compatriot. We are very sorry that it had to happen,” he said during the inauguration of a power plant in Sarangani on January 26.

The Jee kidnap-slay prompted the President to order the dissolution of all PNP anti-drug units — from the national to the local level — and called for the creation of a new anti-narcotics command that would work under the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

The President likewise ordered PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa to cleanse the PNP of scalawags who, Duterte said, make up almost 40 percent of the 160,000-strong force. PNA-northboundasia.com