By Rey Panaligan
Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors have asked the Angeles City regional trial court (RTC) to transfer the detention of three persons who were charged in court for the 2016 killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.
In a motion filed with the Angeles City RTC, the prosecutors said that accused Superintendent Rafael Dumlao III, Senior Police Officer 2 Ricky Sta. Isabel and Jerry Umlang should be detained at the Angeles City jail.
Dumlao is now detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center in Quezon City, while Sta. Isabel and Omlang are jailed at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in Manila.
They were charged with kidnapping for ransom with homicide.
The two other accused in the Jee Ick Joo killing — Gerardo “Ding” Santiago, owner of the Gream Funeral Services where the body of the victim was brought, and Senior Police Officer 4 Roy Villegas – have turned state witnesses.
Case records showed that Jee Ick Joo was abducted on Oct.18, 2016 and killed inside Camp Crame in Quezon City. His body was reportedly cremated.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera said the suspects’ detention outside the Angeles City jail is considered “a special treatment and is not in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations governing inmates undergoing trial of their cases.”
Navera pointed out that an accused who is already facing trial before a court should be detained in a faciility of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
“To say the least, the accused’s continued detention at the PNPCC and NBI facility adored them special treatment as they are subjected to different sets of rules and procedures not afforded to all other detainees under the BJMP control,” the prosecutors said in their motion.
At the same time, the motion pointed out that the transfer to the Angeles City jail would be more practical since their continued detention in PNP and NBI is “burdensome, costly and inefficient for the government, particularly for the law enforcement agencies where they are presently detained.”
“The Angeles City Jail is nearer to the court where the criminal cases are pending against all the accused. Al the more, the BJMP has the resources to sustain the continued confinement, detention and transportation of both accused to and for the court where their cases are pending as it is in the institution’s mandate to do so,” the motion stated.
Aside from Navera, the other members of the DOJ panel prosecuting the case are Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Olivia I. Laroza-Torrevillas and Assistant State Prosecutor Ethel Rea Suril.