MANILA, Philippines – The widow of slain Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to exclude the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) from the kidnapping-murder case.
“I do not trust the NBI to carry out an impartial investigation,” Choi Kyung-jin wrote to Duterte in a letter dated February 3.
Choi pleaded Duterte to let the Philippine National Police-Anti Kidnapping Group be the sole investigators into the case which allegedly involves the AKG’s own members.
“Please, Mr President, while I appreciate the attention you have given to this case, I hope that it will really be resolved at the soonest possible time to allow us the closure we desperately need. I believe this can happen if the AKG will take over the investigating unit until its final resolution,” Choi wrote.
Choi said that she had lost trust in the NBI’s ability to conduct an impartial investigation because of reports that implicate “several high-ranking NBI personnel” in the murder case.
“I also pray that all the results of the NBI’s initial investigation be formally turned over to the PNP, and for the NBI to cease and desist from further investigating this case,” she said.
Choi’s lawyer has also formally withdrawn the carnapping-robbery charges her family filed with the NBI. The family manifested this before the Department of Justice (DOJ) panel reinvestigating the case on Thursday, February 16, but prosecutors said it has to wait for the NBI’s action before it could act on the request.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II told reporters on Friday, February 17, that the NBI, which is under his supervision, is still considered as investigators at this stage.
“Meron silang mga leads na kailangan nila i-pursue (There are leads that they need to pursue),” Aguirre said.
The DOJ panel had asked the joint investigating task force of the NBI and the PNP-AKG to finish its joint probe and submit a report. Choi’s lawyers tried to block this during the hearing but the prosecutors insisted that NBI was still part of the investigation. – Rappler.com
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