By Vann Marlo M. Villegas, Reporter

A COURT in Angeles City has amended its hold-departure order on the alleged mastermind in the October 2016 kidnapping and murder of South Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo, to now cover all airports and seaports in the country.

The two-page amended order of Judge Irin Zenaida S. Buan, of Angeles City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 56, came following a motion by the Department of Justice (DoJ) early Thursday which noted that the May 8 travel ban on Police Lieutenant Colonel Rafael P. Dumlao III only stated the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

“The Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration is directed to prevent accused…from utilizing all airports and seaports of the Philippine islands to escape and flee to another country during the pendency of his cases,” the amended order read.

The prosecution said in its motion that “it is imperative that an Amended Hold Departure Order” be issued against Mr. Dumlao, now covering all Philippine international airports and seaports to prevent him from fleeing to another country while his cases are still pending.

“The nature and the urgency of the relief prayed for necessitate an urgent and ex parte amendment of the HDO precisely so as not to defeat the purpose of the said court processes lest a hearing set thereon present the accused with the opportunity to flee the Honorable Court’s jurisdiction through other ports of egress,” the motion read.

“This motion is not intended to infringe upon the right to travel of these accused but merely for the reasons stated above,” it added.

Mr. Dumlao, Police Chief Master Sergeant Ricky M. Sta. Isabel and Jerry A. Omlang are facing charges of kidnapping for ransom with homicide, kidnapping and serious illegal detention, and carjacking in connection with the kidnapping-murder of Mr. Jee.

On Oct. 18, 2016, Mr. Jee and his housekeeper Marisa Morquicho were abducted from his residence in Angeles City during an alleged anti-drug operation. Ms. Morquicho was released afterwards, but Mr. Jee was killed in the headquarters of the Philippine National Police and his cremated remains were reportedly flushed in a toilet.

The court on April 24 allowed Mr. Dumlao to post bail of P300,000 for each of the charges but denied the same to the other accused.