DESPITE a monthly salary of only P8,000, SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, the principal suspect in the kidnapping and killing of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, declared more than P17 million in assets in 2015, including five houses, a four-story commercial building and four vehicles.
Criminal Investigation and Detection Group director Chief Supt. Roel Obusan said Sta. Isabel has P14.443 million in real properties and P2.885 million worth of personal properties in his 2015 statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).
Testifying before the Senate committee on public order and illegal drugs, Obusan told the panel headed by Senator Panfilo Lacson that based in their financial investigation, Sta.Isabel and his wife Jinky had assets of P17.328 million in 2015 and declared P3.3-million liabilities.
The Senate panel is investigating kidnap-for-ransom operations carried out by police.
Obusan said Sta. Isabel owned five houses in Caloocan City, a commercial building in Cubao, Quezon City, a 2014 Toyota Hilux, a 2012 Toyota Vios, a 2014 Honda motorcycle and a 2012 Kawasaki motorcycle.
Obusan said they are still investigating Sta. Isabel’s bank accounts.
During the hearing, Senator Grace Poe fired questions at Sta. Isabel, who at first was evasive about how much he earned as a policeman. Later, he said he was receiving P8,000 monthly.
He also said his wife ran their businesses, including branches of Western Union and Bayad Center and a lotto outlet.
“My wife is running our businesses. My salary in the PNP is just an addition to our businesses,” he said.
When Poe asked were they got their seed capital to bankroll their businesses, Sta. Isabel said he acquired loans from the PNP to fund. He said their businesses grew bigger due to the industry and skills of his wife who was a law graduate and who sold insurance on commission. He also said his wife graduated cum laude in college.
Poe said the authorities must conduct lifestyle checks on Sta. Isabel and his superior, Supt. Rafael Dumlao of the PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group, and other police officers involved in the kidnapping and killing of Jee, who was taken from his house in Angeles City, Pampanga on Oct. 18 and later strangled inside police headquarters in Camp Crame.
Poe also said the SALN of the accused policemen should be made available because President Rodrigo Duterte has already issued an executive order on freedom of information.
“General [Ronald] dela Rosa said he has a list of rogue policemen. So...we can start there. They have to compare the SALN of those in the list because if they have cases which were dismissed but in the list, they can be cross-checked,” said Poe.
Poe added that there was an obvious “breakdown in the chain of command” as the rogue cops killed Jee right under the nose of the PNP chief, using the administration’s anti-drug campaign as a cover.
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