AN ANGELES City regional trial court judge has inhibited herself from the murder case of Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo.
In an order dated Sept. 2, Judge Irin Zenaida S. Buan granted separate pleas of the Department of Justice and accused policemen Ricky M. Sta. Isabel and Jerry A. Omlang.
“To insist on trying these cases despite the continuing call for recusal will already conjure an erroneous image of a judge holding on to a case under a continuous cloud of doubt,” according to the order.
The case will be re-raffled to another branch of the Angeles City court.
Prosecutors earlier said the judge had been partial to Police Lieutenant Colonel Rafael P. Dumlao III, the alleged mastermind of the killing.
Messrs. Dumlao, Sta. Isabel and Omlang, are charged with kidnapping for ransom with homicide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and car theft in connection with the slay of Mr. Jee.
The court on April 24 only allowed Mr. Dumlao to post bail of P300,000 but denied the petitions of the other accused.
The Korean businessman, along with his housekeeper was abducted from his house in Angeles City on Oct. 18, 2016 in an alleged drug-operation. Ms. Morquicho was released but Mr. Jee was killed at the headquarters of the Philippine National Police and his cremated remains were reportedly flushed in a toilet.