Two of the four Japanese fugitives who are wanted in Japan are set to be deported on Tuesday, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Monday.
In an ambush interview, Remulla said the Japanese are expected to leave at 9 a.m. at the NAIA Terminal 1.
“The flight is at 9:00 a.m. via Japan Airlines. It will be at terminal 1 of NAIA,” he told reporters according to a tweet of dzBB’s Super Radyo Carlo Mateo.
Remulla said this is only the “worst case scenario,” but the DOJ is eyeing to have all four deported by tomorrow. He said the agency will “change plans” if things do not go accordingly.
The Justice secretary made the announcement when asked if the deportation of the Japanese nationals could happen before President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., leaves for a working visit in Japan on February 8.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla says two Japanese nationals suspected to have links to criminal activities in Japan may be deported tomorrow. Two more Japanese nationals may be deported with them once cleared by the courts. @gmanews pic.twitter.com/Rb0HmzFn7x— sandra aguinaldo (@sandraguinaldo) February 6, 2023
“Yes we can, we will. Hopefully tomorrow, everybody. The worst case scenario is only two tomorrow, but we are working for everybody to be deported tomorrow,” he said, adding that he expects Japanese escorts to arrive in the Philippines within the day.
Japan earlier asked the Philippine government to deport four of its citizens suspected of directing a series of robberies there while detained in the Philippines.
The alleged masterminds, identified in Japanese media as Kiyoto Imamura and Yuki Watanabe, were arrested respectively in 2019 and 2021. Japanese police said the two could be sharing the alias "Luffy," after a character in the Japanese manga "One Piece." The other two are Toshiya Fujita and Tomonobu Kojima.
However, Remulla had said the country cannot deport anyone with a pending criminal case.
He said two of the four Japanese nationals have been cleared of all pending cases in the country while the other two have one pending case each.
Remulla said the defense counsel is seemingly acting on a scheme by filing cases that could delay the deportation of the Japanese fugitives who do not want to face charges in their own country.
“His counsel seems to want to oppose the dismissal, so you can see that it’s a very unique situation here that they would rather stay here, to face charges here than to face charges in Japan. Hopefully, the case will be resolved favorably in favor of the government interest to deport the two Japanese who are still not yet cleared as of now,” he said.
“It’s possible that they would just plead guilty to the charges just not to be brought to Japan, but still they will be brought to Japan because if they are sentenced here, we will ask the Japanese government to just respect the sentence and have it carried out in Japanese territory. So, we will still deport them no matter what.”—Giselle Ombay/Sundy Locus/AOL, GMA Integrated News