Korean behind ambush

Posted on November 3, 2012


Lapu-Lapu police to file charges of frustrated murder vs Korean money lender and 2 cohorts

By Jucell Marie P. Cuyos and Norman Mendoza, Correspondents

A fellow Korean businessman involved in tourism and financing casino bettors in Cebu has been identified by police as the mastermind in the Oct. 31 shooting attack against two Korean nationals in Lapu-Lapu City.

Police said they will be filing charges of frustrated murder against the foreign suspect and two local accomplices on Monday.

Senior Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas, Lapu Lapu City police chief, said he would check with the Bureau of Immigration on Monday if the Korean suspect has already left the country because the foreigner has not been seen at his residence since the foiled ambush of Lee Dong Gun and Jung Ha Bok, both Korean investors in Lapu-Lapu city.

Lawas held off revealing names of the three suspects till criminal charges are filed but said the attack was motivated by a business conflict.

The alleged Korean mastermind was described as a 10-year resident in Cebu who is a financier of casino bettors and runs a souvenir shop.

Although the gunman remains unidentified, the police were able to link the Korean through the presence of his accomplice, whose face was captured in security cameras of the Pacific Villa Subdivision where the victims were attacked as their car drove out the main gate past 8 a.m.

Police said they have accounts of two witnesses and the testimonies of the victims Lee and Jung, who are one-year residents in Cebu where they have an investment in a tourist facility in the Imperial Palace and Water Park in Lapu-Lapu city.

Lawas told reporters the alleged mastermind would offer his services as security to other Koreans doing business in Cebu, claiming he had connections with government agencies in the country.

The shooting victims told police they argued with the suspect whose “offer” for protection was virtual extortion. Police said the suspect was also linked to past “harassment” cases but no one had pressed charges before.

Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo, regional director of Police Regional Office 7 (PRO), said he will be talking to representatives of the Korean community in the wake of two recent cases in Cebu involving conflicts over debts and business transactions.

He said he will discuss with them laws in the Philippines since they have their own traditions in Korea.

“Kapag merong utang, ganun estillo nila, kaya merong Mafia at Yakuza,” Garbo said, referring to organized crime gangs of Italian and Japanese hoodlums.

(When there’s an unpaid debt involved, that’s their style of dealing with it. That’s why the Mafia and Yakuza exist)

Garbo also disagreed with the way reports have come out about the kidnapping of a Korean manager and his girlfriend in Cebu city the other week.

He said this was a case of “illegal detention” since the perpetrators were not asking for ransom.

“Kidnapping connotes a very bad word particularly for tourism. Masamang sabihin kidnapping yun. Hindi yun kidnapping,” he told Cebu Daily News. He said such reports would have a bad impact on the economy.

Last Oct. 27, the PNP Anti-Kidnapping Group which has a satellite office in Camp Sergio Osmena, filed charges of kidnapping for ransom before the Cebu City Prosecutors Office against Korean national Song Sungheum, 32, and three local cohorts for the abduction of Korean businessman Jun Hung Chung, 28, and his 24-year-old girlfirend.

The couple were taken from their house in Lahug, Cebu city on Oct. 24, Wednesday and driven around in a car through several remote towns by men posing as police officers from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Police rescued the victims when they intercepted the three local cohorts withdrawing P195,000 from the ATM account of Chung at the Citibank-Ayala branch. The kidnappers had demanded P600,000 and pointed to Sungheum as the one who ordered the abduction.

The kidnap victim, the manager of a lending company, said Sungheum was “my buddy in the casino” who later got angry at him.

“At one time when we played at the casino, he lost all his money and he was trying to blame it on me, so from there, he hates me so much,” said Chung in his sworn affidavit.

“And before this kidnapping incident, Mr. Song Sungheum was planning to kidnap me.”

Meanwhile, two cameras recorded the actual shooting sequence of the Oct. 31 ambush in Lapu-Lapu city.

Police yesterday showed reporters the video footage that clearly captured the face and suspicious actions of a second armed man at the scene.

He appeared to be shooting at the gunman, but his revolver was pointed downward on the ground and he later gestured with one hand as if signalling the assassin to move away.

Lawas said police recognized the man as someone who falsely presents himself as an ex-policeman and owns a licensed firearm.

Lawas said the suspect would introduce himself as an ex-policeman but never actually joined the police force. 

(1) A man believed to be the ‘look-out’ in the failed ambush of two Korean businessmen is shown loitering at the entrance of Pacific Villa since 6:31 a.m. of October 31. He introduced himself as a policeman to the village security guard.

(2) Nearly two hours after, he stretched his arms near the barangay road of Pajac, Lapu-Lapu City. It was considered by investigators as a signal for the gunman.

(3) The gunman arrived moments after and shot the two Koreans on board an SUV as they were about to leave the village. He fled on foot towards a motorcycle.

(4) The alleged accomplice pretended to respond to the crime. He aimed his firearm downwards and shot.

(5) He then signaled someone (not captured in the video) to move aside.

(6 -7) The accomplice continued to shoot the gunman who was five meters away from him but did not aim properly.

(8) He picked up the empty shells of his .45 pistol.

(9) The security guard ran towards the barangay road and tried to shoot twice but his gun conked out on his third shot.

(10) The Koreans who both sustained graze wounds went out of the vehicle and tried to run after the gunman. (SCREEN GRAB/ PACIFIC VILLA CCTV)


When police looked for him at his residence in sitio Matombo, barangay Pusok he could not be located anymore. 

“After the incident he never returned to his house,” Lawas said.

The motive is business-related, said police.

The charges of frustrated murder will be supported with two witnessed and the accounts of the target Korean nationals, Lee Dong Gun and Jung Ha Bok.

Lawas declared that the foiled ambush was solved and thanked the management of Pacific villa subdivision for their full cooperation.

Lawas said the gunman’s use of a .38 caliber revolver, which is cheap to purchase and takes time to fire, showed he was a neophyte or inexperienced assasin.

Police, meanwhile, traced the record of the accomplice.

He has a licensed .45 Norinco pistol registered with the PNP Firearm and Explosives Security Agency and Guards Supervisory Section (FESAGSS).