By Genalyn Kabiling
The Philippine government has issued a public apology to South Korea over the controversial kidnap-slay of a South Korean businessman inside the country’s police headquarters.
In extending the country’s deep regrets, Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella assured the government is determined to swiftly bring to justice the culprits behind the death of Jee Ick-Joo.
“We apologize to the South Korean government and people for this irreparable loss but we commit to the full force of the law to ensure that justice is served and not delayed,” Abella said in a Palace news conference.
“To the Korean people, please accept our sincerest and deepest regrets,” he added.
Abella also extended the President and the nation’s sympathies to the family of the slain Korean businessman.
“We wish to take this occasion to express condolences and sympathies of President Rodrigo Duterte and the Filipino people to Mrs. Choi Kyung-jin, the widow of Mr. Jee Ick-joo, the South Korean national who met untimely death while in police custody,” Abella said.
Jee was arrested by policemen in his residence in guise of an anti-drug operation last October and was later killed in Camp Crame. The perpetrators demanded ransom payment from Jee’s family without informing them he was dead.
Malacañang recently pledged that there will be no whitewash or cover-up in the investigation into the abduction and killing of the Korean national by suspected rogue policemen.
Abella said the government does not tolerate corrupt, abusive and errant policemen who betray the Philippine National Police (PNP) organization and the people.
Earlier, the President rejected calls for the resignation of PNP chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa over the murder of the Korean businessman, declaring he continues to trust his top cop.
Duterte likewise virtually cleared Dela Rosa from any liability over the incident, saying there was no criminal intent on the part of the PNP chief.
“There are two ways of committing crime under the revised penal code. What are they? Felony, malice or negligence,” he said. “Who would want that to happen inside your camp? No one,” he added.
Meantime, the Palace acknowledged that the killing of the South Korean shows the “depth” of corruption within government institutions including the PNP.
“Let’s go back to the President’s campaign theme to stop crime, corruption and illegal drugs. And apparently this is particular situation indicates there is truly a depth of corruption within the government system,” Abella said.
On concerns Dela Rosa seems to be untouchable, Abella insisted that the Presidently completely trusts the PNP chief as part of the government team.