Cebu traders seek justice for killing of businessman King in Davao City

By Eddie O. Barrita

CEBU CITY – Cebu’s business community is seeking justice for the death of Richard King, owner of the Crown Regency hotel chain.

“We are saddened by the tragic death of Mr. Richard King. We believe the police will give this a priority. We recognize his creative concept that is unique in the hotel industry, which also created job opportunities. Our sincerest condolence to his family,” the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) said in a statement.

King was the president of J. King and Sons Co., Inc., the company behind the Crown Regency chain of hotels, Club Ultima and the City Suites Ramos Tower in this province.

King was shot dead by a lone gunman inside his building Thursday night in Davao City.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama said he immediately called Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who promised to update him on the investigation.

Authorities from the two cities will coordinate to hasten the investigation.

Mayor Rama also ordered Cebu City Police Office director Noli Romana to contact the family and to provide security escorts for them, if needed.

“We are ready to assist the family, especially on the security aspect,” Rama said.

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III said he did not personally know King but was saddened by the businessman’s sudden death.

“The incident was deplorable.I hope justice will prevail,” said CCCI president Ma. Teresa Chan, adding that King was a big loss to the hotel and tourism industry in Cebu.

Rey Calooy, president of the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club Inc., shared the sentiment.

“It was a blatant attack. We condemn it. It is a very sad moment for the business community in Cebu, especially that we are celebrating Cebu Business Month. Davao City authorities must exert all efforts because Mr. King was not an ordinary businessman, Calooy said.

He was also an investor in Davao,” he said.

Philip Tan, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI), said he and the Filipino-Chinese business community are saddened by King’s death.

He noted cases like this should be solved immediately.

“There are already a lot of businessmen that were killed and their cases haven’t been resolved yet. This sends a bad impression to foreign investors in terms of speedy justice and safety and security among business owners,” said Tan. “This is really frustrating.”

“It looked like a planned assassination based on new reports. It is totally tragic and I do hope the perpetrators are brought to justice immediately,” said Gordon Alan Joseph, president of the Cebu Business Club. (PNA)

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