Police officer tagged as mastermind in kidnap-slay of South Korean arrested, detained

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Superintendent Rafael Dumlao

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) — A police officer alleged to be the mastermind behind the kidnap-slay of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo was detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters on Wednesday, officials said.

Superintendent Rafael Dumlao, a former police official of the PNP's defunct Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, was arrested late Tuesday and turned over to the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group Chief Senior Superintendent Glenn Dumlao (no relation to Rafael Dumlao) said.

The arrested police officer faces serious illegal detention and kidnapping charges over the October 2016 kidnapping and killing of Jee, who was based in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The court granted the arrested Dumlao's request to be detained at the PNP Custodial Center, the anti-kidnapping group chief added.

Another suspect in Jee's killing, Senior Police Officer 3 Ricky Sta. Isabel is also in detention in Camp Crame since October, while other suspects Senior Police Officer 4 Roy Villegas and Ramon Yalung have surrendered to the authorities.

Sta. Isabel has denied he killed Jee and claimed he was following orders from Dumlao.

PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa has said the evidence is strong against the police officers tagged in the case, which sparked protest and fear among the South Korean community in the Philippines.

Related: Dela Rosa expresses shame over killing of Korean in Camp Crame

The killing of Jee also prompted President Rodrigo Duterte to apologize to the Koreans and promise Jee's widow that justice will be swiftly served.

Jee, 53, was taken by the suspects on October 18 from his home in Pampanga on charges that he was involved in trading illegal drugs.

SPO4 Villegas and another police officer Christopher Baldovino — part of the "arresting team" against Jee — gave statements narrating in detail the incident, which pointed to Sta. Isabel, Dumlao, and other respondents as the abductors who killed the victim.