MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) junked the appeal of accused policemen to stop a fellow cop from testifying on the case of slain South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.
The CA, through Associate Justice Myra Garcia-Fernandez, agreed with the decision of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court to accept as state witness Senior Police Officer 4 (SPO4) Roy Villegas.
Jee Ick Joo, a South Korean living in Angeles City, Pampanga, was kidnapped by cops and then killed in Camp Crame on October 18, 2016. The discovery of his killing led to the first suspension of President Rodrigo Duterte’s unrelenting “war on drugs.”
Villegas took part in the killing, but he said he was made to believe that it was a legitimate police operation, now wishing to speak out against his colleagues in exchange for government protection.
The alleged killers, led by SPO3 Ricky Sta Isabel, failed to persuade the CA to issue a restraining order that would prevent Villegas from speaking in court.
In his testimony so far, Villegas named Sta Isabel as the primary killer of the South Korean, accusing him of strangling Jee Ick Joo to death inside Camp Crame.
According to the CA, Villegas complied with all the requirements for him to become a state-protected witness, while Sta Isabel’s camp failed to prove that Villegas’ testimony could cause them “grave and irreparable injury.” – Rappler.com