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DOJ seeks to deport 2 of 4 Japanese fugitives by end of week

The Philippines seeks to deport at least two of the four Japanese nationals who are suspected of being the masterminds of illegal activities in Japan, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Tuesday.

During a press briefing, Remulla said one of the Japanese may be deported by Wednesday, February 1, and the other may be on Friday, February 3.

“Hopefully, we can deport two by the end of this week. But the other two, we will see how fast we can act on these matters. Because we will look at the cases pending before the different bodies in the other parts of the country,” he said.

He later committed to immediately repatriate those that may be deported.

“But my commitment to everybody is we will deport who we can deport immediately,” Remulla said.

On Monday, the Japanese Embassy formally requested the Philippine government to deport “four people.” The embassy said it could not provide further details nor the names of the suspects.

According to Remulla, the agency eyes to finish the deportation proceedings before President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s visit to Japan this coming February.

“Well, we’re trying to settle the case, to finish these cases prior to the President’s trip so this will not be the focus of media when he goes to Japan because this will be a distraction,” he said.

Remulla also said that “he is sure” that alias Luffy, the alleged mastermind in the series of robberies in Japan, is among the four Japanese suspects.

Contrived cases

Meanwhile, Remulla said he believes that some of the pending cases filed against the Japanese nationals are contrived to prevent them from being deported.

He said this was because the country cannot deport anyone with a pending criminal case in the Philippines. 

According to the Justice secretary, three of the Japanese have pending cases in Taguig, Pasay, and Bacolod.

“Most of the cases, if not all, involve violence against women and children (VAWC)… but we are under the impression that these cases were invented or are not real cases. They were contrived cases filed against them just to keep them in the Philippines,” he said.

Meanwhile, the cases of the two nationals have been dismissed.

Remulla said one of the VAWC cases was filed by the girlfriend of the Japanese national.

“We have it on good word that the person who filed the is the girlfriend of the Japanese national who visits him regularly in jail and even plants a kiss on his cheek every time she visits the jail,” he said.

“So you can read from the body language that it is not an honest-to-goodness case of violence against women since they still exhibit very sweet behavior to each other,” he added.

He also warned that the agency will file complaints against lawyers for those who file contrived cases.

“I speak from experience and from the way that things have been running in the country on these cases. There are lawyers who specialize in these cases and many of them will lose their licenses if they continue doing this.

“We will file cases even against the lawyers if they will insist on filing cases which are contrived but that is the way that it works.


Meanwhile, Remulla said the Japanese at the detention facility of the Bureau of Immigration (BI) had communication devices.

“We looked at video recordings of them inside the detention facilities, videotaping themselves… several telephones have been surrendered to the— the BI has confiscated several telephones,” he said.

Remulla said one of the nationals had six iPhones in his possession. He said this is one of the four that the Japanese government requested to be deported.

“This is a subject of investigation now within the BI because this cannot be tolerated. This reeks of corruption, and the people who are responsible for the behavior of all the people under detention will be dealt with severely once proven that they did not do their jobs,” he said.

Due to this, Remulla said it is very possible for criminal enterprises to be run from detention centers through telephones.

Japanese media have reported that four Japanese individuals allegedly orchestrated at least 14 robberies in several prefectures in Japan from a detention facility in the Philippines.

According to a 24 Oras report, the suspects would instruct their co-conspirators in Japan via an encrypted messaging app.

The crimes being investigated also includes the murder of a 90-year-old woman in a Tokyo suburb on January 19. According to a Reuters report, more than 30 suspects have already been arrested in Japan.

“Lumalabas na galing pa dito sa atin ang order doon sa nangyari sa Japan,” Police Lieutenant Colonel Dexter Versola, NCRPO spokesperson, said on John Consulta’s “24 Oras” report on Tuesday.

“Dahil kulang ang personnel ng BI, nagbigay tayo ng manpower at doon nagsagawa ng operation greyhound para makita ang mga iligal na gamit, contrabands,” he added.



GMA Integrated News is trying to get the side of the BI.—With a report from Richa Noriega/AOL/RSJ, GMA Integrated News