MANILA, Philippines — A policeman accused of involvement in the kidnapping and murder of a South Korean businessman in October 2016 has been allowed to turn state witness by the Angeles City court trying the case.
Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 58 Judge Irineo Pangilinan Jr., in granting the Department of Justice’s request, said Senior Police Officer 4 Roy Villegas satisfied all the requirements for tuning state witness such as the absolute necessity of his testimony, lack of direct evidence for the proper prosecution of the case against him, and his not appearing to be the most guilty.
“Wherefore, guided by the foregoing hornbook doctrines, the Motion to Discharge Accused SPO4 Roy Villegas as state witness is hereby granted,” Pangilinan’s January 3 order said.
Pangilinan said that “from the evidence submitted by the prosecution in support of its motion to discharge accused Villegas, it appears that while accused Villegas directly participated in the execution stage, he had no direct participation in the actual killing of Ick Joo Jee.”
The judge agreed with the prosecution that the testimony of Jee’s maid, Marisa Morquicho, was “very limited as it is only confined to the alleged carnapping, kidnapping of victims Ick Joo Jee and Marisa Morquicho, but not on the actual killing of Ick Joo Jee.”
“She cannot therefore identify who among the accused consummated the killing of the victim Ick Joo Jee, or who conspired with whom,” he said.
Jee and Morquicho were abducted on October 18, 2016 from the businessman’s home in Friendship Plaza Subdivision, Angeles City under the pretext that police were conducting an anti-drug operation.
He was strangled to death inside the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame the evening of th same day, his body cremated and the ashes reportedly flushed down a toilet of the funeral parlor where his corpse was taken. Moquicho was released.
Despite this, the policemen who killed Jee contacted his wife and demanded ransom. After she gave them P5 million, they demanded another P4 million but this time she refused unless they could prove his was still alive.