Filipino manpower provider decries meddling of a Korean diplomat in criminal cases against Samsung executives

A FILIPINO MANPOWER provider which has filed criminal complaint against a group of Korean nationals, including two top ranking executives of Samsung Electronics Philippines Corp. (SEPCO), for large-scale illegal recruitment involving economic sabotage and estafa has expressed serious concern over the alleged meddling by a Korean diplomat to have the expatriates dropped from the Philippine government’s hold-departure order (HDO) list.

In a letter to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Temps and Staffers, Inc. (TSI) through lawyer Bertrand Baterina assailed the alleged meddling of Korean consul Jung Soon Chul’s in criminal proceedings before the Department of Justice against Kyung Chull Park, president and CEO of Samsung Philippines and SEPCO’s  chief finance officer Boem Hee Lee is Samsung Philippine Chief Finance Officer, saying it is an affront to the country’s sovereignty and that the reasons laid down in lifting the HDOs do not fall within the legal requirements of the DOJ’s Circular No. 41.

The DOJ’s Circular No. 41 enumerates the specific instances where one can lift a HDO such as the one that was issued by the Justice department against the Samsung executives.

Because of this, the TSI lawyer appealed to Justice De Lima to recall the December 23 order and issue another reinstating the hold departure order against Park and Lee.

“We are concerned about the participation of one Counsellor Jung Soon Chul of the Korean Embassy in the instant proceedings as he appears to be interfering and meddling in the criminal investigations and processes of a sovereign state,” Baterina said.

“Nowhere… was it indicated that Consul Chul possessed the requisite authority to act and speak on behalf of the Republic of Korea which would entitle him to issue a guarantee assuring the presence, availability and cooperation of Messrs. Park and Lee in the proceedings before the Honorable Office. Verily, his mere personal guarantee, in the absence of any other official documents from the Embassy of Korea, cannot be used as a basis for the lifting of the HDO against Messrs. Park and Lee,” he stressed.

In a single-page order dated December 23, 2010, the DOJ through Chief State Counsel Ricardo V. Paras III ordered the lifting of the HDO against Park and Lee after the Korean diplomat their “presence, availability and cooperation” in relation to the preliminary investigation on the criminal complaints against the them.

TSI through its representative Vivian Anastacio-Guerrero had charged Park and Lee along with other key Filipino officers of Samsung Philippines with syndicated and large scale illegal recruitment involving economic sabotage for allegedly pirating its 700 personnel. Estafa and theft charges were also filed against them. Also respondent to the same complaints is another Korean national, Hae Kyong Kim, who is an executive of SD Humantech that supposedly effected the plan to pirate TSI’s roster of workers.

An HDO was subsequently issued against the Korean nationals, while the 13 Filipino executives of SEPCO have been placed under the Bureau Immigration’s watch list.

But Park was able to obtain an Allow Departure Order (“ADO”) from DOJ, through an Order dated 10 December 2010 or four days after the HDO was issued against him and other Korean nationals. The order permitted Park to travel to South Korea last December and to the United States of America from January 5, 2011 until January 13, 2011.

The TSI lawyer maintained that there exists no ground for the lifting of the HDO against the Korean executives because the HDO issued last December 6 has not yet expired as such remains valid for a period of five (5) years from its date of issuance.

Besides, both Park and Lee have not been allowed to leave the country by any court of law as the subject criminal cases remain pending before the Justice department and have not been dismissed.

The TSI lawyer also questioned why the HDO was lifted on the mere basis of the existing extradition treaty between the Philippines and Korea.

Besides, the lawyer lamented that the lifting of the HDO against the Samsung executives violates TSI’s right to procedural due process. “We were not given the opportunity to comment or oppose the application for the lifting of the HDO by Chief State Prosecutor Ricardo V. Paras III.”

Aside from Park, Lee and Kim, also named respondents in the criminal complaints filed by TSI were Glenn Glinoga, Atty. Gabriel Matriano , Mary Anne Felipe , Benjamin Jimenez , Sherilyn Tan , Louie Liston, Angela Salvallon, Gerard Duremdes, Ricky De Guzman, Noel Dajao, Elaine Matito, Jerick Paloma, Maybelle Doloran, and an unspecified number of John Does and Jane Does.

Pinoy Parazzi News Service

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