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Duterte vows maximum punishment for suspects in Jee Ick Joo slay

President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday assured South Koreans that the people behind the death of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo would receive the maximum punishment. 

Duterte was at the ceremonial switch-on of the Section 1 and groundbreaking ceremony of the Section 2 of the Sarangani Energy Corp. power plant in Maasim, Sarangani. 

The Phase 1 of the power plant costs $309 million, which was constructed by Daelim Industrial Ltd. of South Korea.

"I apologize for the death of your compatriot. We are very sorry that it had to happen. But I can assure you, those responsible are known to us already and they will have to go to prison and I will see to it that they will be sentenced to the maximum," he said.

The South Korean businessman was taken from his home in Pampanga in October 2016 under the guise of a tokhang operation.

His wife, Choi Kyung Jin, said that the police asked for ransom for his release. But recently, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said that Jee was already killed.

A witness later claimed that SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel strangled Jee to death.

"I am very sorry for that sordid incident. But I can assure you. I will see to it... Better if they escape from prison. I'll send their heads to you... 'Tang --a kayong mga pulis. Bantay kayo. Hindi ko kayo papalusutin. You will suffer... Then, I can maybe send your head to South Korea," he said.

"I become emotional but it is only a pretended one, for effects lang iyan. 'Oh he announced that he was killing.' Istorya lang iyan. Maniwala kayo. Totohanin ko ba ang storya? But be careful because sometimes it merges," he added.

Duterte made the remarks amid a Senate investigation on the tokhang-for-ransom cases, including the kidnap-slay of Jee. — RSJ, GMA News