Video footage aids police investigating ambush of Koreans

Posted on November 2, 2012

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Security cameras recorded images of a second armed man at the scene of Wednesday’s foiled ambush of two Korean businessman in Lapu-Lapu City.

Lapu-Lapu city police said the second shooter has been identified but that investigators are keeping a lid on his name and that of the alleged mastermind.

Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, city director of Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO), said a rejected business proposal may be the motive of the attack against Lee Dong Gun, 46, and Jung Ha Bok, 40, who survived gunshots fired at their car as the vehicle left the main gate of their subdivision in Pacific Villa past 8 a.m. in barangay Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City.

The Koreans, who feared for their lives, requested for protection after the violence.

Lawas assigned them two police security escorts on a temporary basis while a formal request is being made to the Police Regional Office to provide security for persons “in imminent danger.”

Lawas said police recognized a local “personality” in the video footage of cameras in the main gate of the private subdivision.

The armed man was previously seen in the company of a suspect identified as a possible mastermind but Lawas declined to give more details to avoid preempting the inquiry. The second gunman was seen holding a revolver. Four bulletholes were found in the Durango Dodge van where police recovered empty shells of a .45 pistol and one slug from a .38 revolver.

Lawas said the motive of the ambush appears to be business related.

The Korean businessmen, who survived with minor graze wounds in their arms, told police there were no other parties whose business proposal they had refused.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza on Wednesday instructed Lawas at City Hall to “intensify” the investigation and apprehend suspects soon.

“We have a standing policy to protect the interest of businesses and tourists in the city,” she said.

“This looks like an isolated case because based on what we know, fellow Koreans sometimes are the ones who start the trouble,” said Radaza.

She said the case was not a real threat to the hotel and resort business in Lapu-Lapu.

Asked if any agency from Manila or Camp Crame has intervened or shown special interest in the case, she said no, adding that the police inquiry was standard procedure.

Lawas said the Koreans were interested in filing a case once enough evidence is gathered.

However, the police chief said more witnesses are needed to support the theory of a business rivalry.

On November 9, the new Korean ambassador to the Philippines will visit Cebu and have a courtesy call with mayors of cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu as well as Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

This schedule was confirmed by Charlie Shin, liaison of the Korean community in Cebu.

He said he spoke with the ambush victims Gun and Bok, and that both said they want to continue living in Cebu despite the encounter with an assassin that left each of them with graze bullet wounds in one arm.

Shin, who went to the Lapu-Lapu police station, said they will cooperate with the police.

“We will always coordinate with the investigation of the police to solve the incident and to pin down the real mastermind,” he said.

“We know the police are doing their best to solve the incidents”.

“I hope Koreans are not the mastermind in the incident,” he said.

Last week, police rescued a Korean businessman in Cebu City in a kidnap-for-ransom case, which led to the Oct. 25 arrest of another Korean businessman who allegedly wanted to collect on a P4 million gambling debt.

After this erupted, PNP Chief Nicanor Barolome ordered an investigation into the pattern of kidnapping and other violence perpetrated by Koreans against fellow nationals, as well as other expatriates in the country.

Shin, who assisted Song Sungheum who was arrested upon arrival from Korea in the Mactan Cebu International airport last Oct. 25, said the suspect denied allegations that he was behind the kidnapping.

The Korean consulate would not provide a lawyer to the arrested Sungheum.

Shin said he believes both recent cases were isolated and not alarming.

He urged police to protect the growing Korean population in Cebu which he estimated at 20,000. /Norman V. Mendoza and Jucell Marie Cuyos, Correspondents

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