MANILA (UPDATE) - A Pampanga court has ordered the transfer of accused individuals in three separate criminal cases in connection with the abduction of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo in 2016 to the Angeles City Jail.
In a 4-page order, dated August 16, 2018, Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 56 Presiding Judge Irin Zenaida Buan granted the plea of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and ordered the transfer of Supt. Rafael Dumlao III from the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City to the Angeles City Jail in Sto. Domingo, Angeles City, Pampanga.
Dumlao’s motion for reconsideration (MR) urging a reversal of the court’s earlier transfer order was denied “for lack of merit.”
The trial court also granted the DOJ’s motion for the transfer of accused SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel and Jerry Omlang from the National Bureau of Investigation Custodial Center in Manila to the Angeles City Jail.
The cases involve two criminal informations for kidnapping and one case for carnapping.
The order explained that “the nearest jail where the accused may be brought and detained is the Angeles City Jail” considering its proximity to the courtroom.
“[I]t would be more practical for the accused to be detained at the city jail in order to facilitate their attendance during court hearings of their cases.”
As to the claim of the accused that said transfer would pose a threat to their security, the trial court ruled that “said argument lacks sufficient basis."
“Except for making such claims, no concrete and convincing proof was submitted to the court,” the court said.
With regard to Dumlao’s MR, the court said his arguments failed to cause a reversal of its earlier ruling.
Jee was forcibly taken from his residence in Angeles City on October 18, 2016 by a group of policemen who said they were conducting an anti-drug operation.
He was killed by his abductors on the same day, and ransom money amounting to P5-million was collected by his abductors even after his death. His househelp was also abducted but subsequently released unharmed.
The DOJ prosecutors handling the cases are Senior Assistant State Prosecutors Juan Pedro Navera and Olivia Torrevillas, and Assistant State Prosecutor Ethel Rhea Suril.