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DOJ panel asks court to end 'special treatment' of suspects in Korean Jee Ick-joo's slay.

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked the Regional Trial Court of Angeles City, Pampanga to order the transfer of detention of police officers charged for the kidnapping and murder South Koreanbusinessman Jee Ick-joo in October 2016

In an eight-page motion, the panel of public prosecutors led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Juan Pedro Navera questioned the continued detention of Superintendent Rafael Dumlao III, SeniorPolice Officer 2 Ricky Sta. Isabel at Philippine National Police custodial center in the PNP headquarters in Camp Crime, Quezon City and Jerry Umlang at the at the National Bureau of Investigation custodial center in Manila.

The DOJ prosecutors insisted that the accused should be transferred to the Angeles City Jail under the supervision of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) pending their trial.

The prosecutors argued that such set-up, which was approved by the former judge who handled the case - RTC Branch 58 Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr. - 'is not in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations governing inmates undergoing trial of their cases.' The judge subsequently recused himself from the case.

The prosecutors said the continued detention of the accused at the PNP and NBI detention centers could be viewed as preferential treatment.

'To say the least, the accused's continued detention at the PNPCC and NBI facility accorded them special treatment as they are subjected to different sets of rules and procedures not afforded to all other detainees under the BJMP control,' stated the motion filed last June 11.

The transfer of the three accused to the 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 DOJ panel added.

'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 case are pending as it is in the institution's mandate to do so,' the prosecutors added.

The motion also cited the circular issued by the Supreme Court's Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) ordering the lower courts to refrain from issuing orders committing detainees at the PNP Custodial Center.

The three police officers are under trial for kidnapping for ransom with homicide case before the RTC.

The two other accused - Gerardo 'Ding' Santiago, owner of the Gream Funeral Services where the body of the victim was brought, and SPO4 Roy Villegas - have turned into state witnesses for the prosecutors.

The police officers were accused of abducting Jee on October 18, 2016, before killing him inside Camp Crame.

His body was never found as it was reportedly cremated and flushed in the toilet at the Gream mortuary.

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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Jun 27, 2018
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