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Cops in Korean trader's slay oppose another cop as state witness.

The policemen accused of abducting and killing South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo in October 2016 opposed on Thursday a court order allowing another policeman to stand as state witness.

During the resumption of their trial, Supt. Rafael Dumlao III and SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel filed separate motions for reconsideration on the joint order issued on Jan. 3 by the Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) that allowed SPO4 Roy Villegas to testify for the government.

Counter-motion

Villegas was originally charged along with the two policemen with the abduction and murder of Jee inside Camp Crame, the headquarters of the Philippine National Police.

But state prosecutors filed a counter-motion urging the court to dismiss the motions of Dumlao and Sta. Isabel.

They said the two policemen should be compelled to expunge any reference to Villegas as one of the accused in their motions.

In a joint order issued on Feb. 8, Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr. of RTC Branch 58 gave Dumlao and Sta. Isabel 10 days to file their comments to the prosecutors' motion.

Pangilinan set the presentation of a fourth witness on the resumption of the trial on March 8.

'Absolute necessity'

Pangilinan's order said the testimony of Villegas was 'an absolute necessity.'

While Villegas had direct participation in the abduction of Jee, he did not participate in the killing, the prosecutors said when they asked the court to make Villegas a state witness.

Villegas claimed to be one of the men who took Jee's body to Gream Funeral Services in Caloocan City where it was cremated, they said.

According to the prosecutors, the specific participation of Dumlao, tagged as the brains behind Jee's abduction, could only be established by the testimony of an eyewitness like Villegas.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Feb 9, 2018
Words:348
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