DOJ subpoenas 5 cops, 4 others in new probe into Korean's murder

MANILA, Philippines – Five police officers and four others have been summoned to the Department of Justice for the reinvestigation on the abduction and murder of Pampanga-based Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, which starts on Friday, February 3,

The reinvestigation, which was ordered by an Angeles City court, will be presided by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera, with another senior assistant state prosecutor, Olivia Torrevillas, on the panel.

Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr of the Pampanga Regional Trial Court Branch 58 has given the justice department 60 days or until March 3 to finish the reinvestigation and submit its resolution. 

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) found that the businessman was abducted from Angeles City, then strangled to death inside a vehicle right inside Camp Crame, the PNP headquarters, after asking ransom from his wife. The owner of a funeral parlor in Caloocan City later revealed that the body was brought to him for cremation under an assumed Filipino name.

The DOJ issued subpoenas for the following to appear at 2 pm Friday at Room 1 of the Executive Lounge:

Judge Pangilinan granted the motion of 3 of the 7 suspects – SPO3 Ricky Sta Isabel, SPO4 Roy Villegas, and Ramon Yalung – to order the justice department to reinvestigate the case, and to postpone their arraignment, which was originally set last Monday, January 30.

In its first preliminary investigation, the DOJ indicted Sta Isabel, but he questioned this, pointing out that he was not given an opportunity to submit his answer to the charges.

He also said he was deprived of due process after justice department filed the case in court when the hearing for the preliminary investigation had not been conducted yet.

The court also granted the motion of Sta Isabel to transfer him to the custody of the NBI because his life was threatened in the custody of the Philippine National Police. 

Villegas and Layung chose to remain in their detention facilities in Camp Crame and Angeles City district jail, respectively. –