Asia

Philippine police chief apologies for Korean's murder by officers

Philippines police chief Ronald dela Rosa testifies during a Philippine Senate hearing in Metro Manila, 5 December 2016. Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Philippines police chief Ronald dela Rosa said he wanted to "disappear" from the shame

The Philippines police chief has apologised over the kidnap and murder of a South Korean businessman by officers at the national police HQ.

Jee Ick-joo was seized in October from his home in Angeles city, near Manila, under the pretence of a drug raid, the Department of Justice said.

After strangling him, his killers pretended he was still alive in order to collect a ransom from his family.

His body was later incinerated at a crematorium run by a former policeman.

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At least three of the eight people suspected of involvement were police officers, say officials.

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Media captionSome have taken on the grim responsibility of documenting the drug war

Thousands of people have died at the hands of police and vigilantes in the Philippines since President Rodrigo Duterte launched a drug war after taking office last year.

'I want to kill officers'

Police chief Ronald dela Rosa, who was appointed by President Duterte, told reporters on Thursday: "I want to disappear from this world because of so much shame after what my men did." But he insisted it was an isolated case.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption President Duterte has launched a violent crackdown on drug crimes

"I want to kill those policemen who are into crime syndicates but I cannot do it. That's illegal."

He said one police officer suspected of involvement in the case had surrendered.

South Korea's Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se expressed "grave shock" at the murder and demanded that those responsible be brought to justice.

South Korea's consul in the Philippines, Kim Dae-hee, called the crime "unimaginable," in comments to Korea's KBS.

The victim's wife is reported to have paid the kidnappers at least $100,000 (£81,000).

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