Korean foreman sued for murder try

Published by rudy Date posted on July 4, 2009

SUBIC BAY FREEPORT, Philippines—A Filipino worker at the shipbuilding company Hanjin has filed a complaint for frustrated murder against a Korean foreman who allegedly attacked him with a metal flashlight in the head and face while at work on June 23.

Arceo Malit, 26, sued Lee Cheon Sik, 53, at the office of Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Jacqueline Suing on June 30 in Olongapo City.

Malit, of Sta. Rita village in Olongapo, attached in his two-page sworn statement a medico-legal certificate by Dr. Leonardo Toledo of St. Jude Medical Center.

Toledo certified that Malit suffered from multiple lacerations and abrasions as a result of the attack.

Senior Supt. Roland Feliz, Zambales police chief, was still checking if Suing had issued an arrest warrant for Lee. A frustrated murder case is bailable under Philippine laws.

Greenbeach, a subcontractor of Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Phils Inc., heeded a recommendation of the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority to suspend Lee for 30 days starting June 24 pending the completion of an in-house investigation of the incident.

According to a Greenbeach official, Lee has been confined at the company’s staff house at the shipyard off Redondo Bay in Subic.

Greenbeach has not announced Lee’s likely dismissal but in a similar incident last year, the subcontracting company terminated the employment of a Korean foreman who figured in a similar incident, it was learned.

“I am thankful that I am not dead like the others who had accidents in Hanjin. But I am still not feeling well,” Malit said when he was at St. Jude Hospital.

Malit, pipe welder and foreman, said the attack began at Hanjin shipyard’s Bay 27 at about noon when a few workers were fitting the pipes to be welded by his team.

He said he was surprised when he saw Lee fuming mad.

To know what’s going on, Malit asked his coworkers to get a Korean foreman from their team to act as an interpreter.

Lee later said he was angry because work in his team was delayed.

Malit said Lee got more upset when the supervisor, Jeong So Hu, could not go to the area because it was lunch break.

Lee then led Malit to Hanjin shipyard’s Bay 28 where a container van and a stockroom were located. “I went with him because I thought he only wanted to talk. It was not clear to me why he was angry. He thought that I was the foreman of the men working there already,” Malit said.

When they entered the stockroom, Malit said Lee challenged him to a fistfight. “I didn’t want to fight or else I would lose my job,” he said.

SBMA Administrator Armand Arreza asked Lee’s Hanjin subcontractor to suspend the Korean foreman pending investigation.

Olongapo Councilor John Carlos de los Reyes said the suspension was “too soft a response.”

“The Korean foreman should have been fired immediately or his working permits taken away. There is no excuse and certainly no acceptable explanation for this kind of behavior toward our workers,” he said.

The incident had triggered pickets by labor groups in Zambales.–Robert Gonzaga and Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

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