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Sta. Isabel says Dumlao’s men eyeing ‘meritorious promotion’

By Julius Leonen

As the reinvestigation into the kidnap-slay of Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo presses on, SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel yesterday accused Police Supt. Rafael Dumlao III’s men for allegedly participating in the Korean’s murder because they are eyeing a “meritorious promotion.”
With Dumlao’s earlier allegations that some NBI agents and personnel had been involved in the orchestration of the Korean’s death, Sta. Isabel, who was alleged to be a mastermind in the case, belied Dumlao’s claims.
Sta. Isabel told reporters in an ambush interview yesterday that only Dumlao’s men who were eyeing a “meritorious promotion” were involved in the killing of Jee, absolving National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) personnel from the case.
He insisted that among the accused were men from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Illegal Drugs Group in Pampanga formerly led by Dumlao, who was tagged by other respondents as the real mastermind, not Sta. Isabel.
“There are no NBI agents involved in this case. The theory that there may have been NBI agents in this case is wrong,” Sta. Isabel said.
“All of them who are involved are Dumlao’s men. They’re only seeking a meritorious promotion,” he added.
It will be recalled that Sta. Isabel, who was initially tagged as the mastermind in the Korean’s death, had surrendered to the NBI and voluntarily sought protective custody last January 20.
The Department of Justice (DoJ) yesterday launched its second preliminary investigation into the abduction and murder of the Korean businessman, with suspects facing charges of kidnapping for ransom with homicide.
Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr. of the Pampanga Regional Trial Court Branch 58 had given the DoJ only 60 days or until March 3 to complete the reinvestigation into the kidnap-slay scandal.
The reinvestigation was approved following Sta. Isabel’s request to relaunch the probe for the respondents to be allowed to submit their counter-affidavits.
It will be recalled that none of the respondents were present during the initial investigations.
All respondents in the case, namely Sta. Isabel, Dumlao, SPO4 Roy Villegas, Gerardo Santiago, Jerry Omlang, Ramon Yalung, and Alan Gruenberg, are present during the hearing yesterday.
The respondents have been charged for kidnapping for ransom with homicide in connection with the kidnap-slay fiasco, where it was revealed that the victim was actually strangled to death at the Police Headquarters in Camp Crame.
Meanwhile, the joint investigating team of the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group and the NBI have only been given until Monday to file formal charges, documents and other evidence against the suspects.
The PNP-AKG and the NBI had asked the DoJ last Friday, February 10, for more time to file the formal charges against suspects tagged in the brutal kidnap-slay fiasco “in order to gather additional evidence and consolidate the newly acquired evidence.”
The PNP-AKG asked the DoJ panel for an additional 15 days to probe the case, while the NBI had asked for an additional 20 days to prepare its documents and other evidence.

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