Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan has asked Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno and Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, Philippine National Police chief, to “recall or remove” all Angeles police officers involved in the killings and abductions of Koreans in the city.
In a message from Rome where he was attending the peace talks with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines as a member of the government panel, Pamintuan said he made the call as he noted the “mounting complaints of Koreans against police in the city.”
He said he would set up a special desk composed of city employees, barangay staff and Korean representatives to monitor complaints against policemen.
On Thursday, Chief Supt. Aaron Aquino, Central Luzon police director, relieved Senior Supt. Sydney Villaflor, Angeles police chief, from his post for command responsibility over the abduction and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-joo, the robbery and extortion of three Korean tourists and other crimes allegedly committed by rogue cops in the city.
Villaflor was replaced by Senior Supt. Jose Hidalgo beginning Jan. 25.
Villaflor had earlier claimed that the supposed antidrug operations of SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, the principal suspect in Jee’s abduction and killing in October last year, were not coordinated with the local police.
Koreans in the city have been “very sad and unhappy” about Jee’s murder, said Sheng Kae Lee, vice president of Angeles Korean Community Association.
About 2,000 Koreans either do business in Angeles or work in companies based in Clark Freeport. Some are enrolled in local colleges or golf schools.
Before Jee’s murder, the weekly newspaper Punto Central Luzon reported these incidents involving Koreans in Angeles City:
Her Tae Suk was killed on Feb. 19, 2014 as he walked toward Prism Hotel here.
Businessman Park Youn Jae was killed on Sept. 17, 2015 inside his office.
The officer in charge of the Angeles police’s Station 5 was accused of conducting an illegal search of an establishment owned by Koreans in December 2015.
A female bar worker accused eight Koreans of gang raping her in January 2016. Koreans protested what they called “fake rape” and described it an extortion try by the police.
Three Koreans with bullet wounds on their heads were found dumped along FVR Megadike in Bacolor town, south of Angeles City, on Oct. 12, 2016.
In July 2015, then Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina ordered an investigation of a complaint by the Korean Chamber of Commerce that Koreans were subjects of alleged discrimination and extortion by personnel of the Bureau of Customs assigned at Clark International Airport.