Sec. Remulla vows not to make PH ‘a refuge for fugitives from justice’

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla vowed not to make the Philippines “a refuge for those who are running from the law in their countries” or those fugitives from justice.

The assurance was aired by Remulla as two other fugitive Japanese nationals are scheduled for deportation on Wednesday, Feb. 8.

Set for deportation are Tomonobu Saito and Yuki Watanabe whose criminal charges for violations of Republic Act No. 9262, the Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) Act, had been dismissed by the Pasay City regional trial court (RTC).

On Tuesday morning, Feb. 7, two Japanese fugitives were deported. They were Imamura Kiyoto and Fujita Toshiya who left together on board a Japan Airlines flight 746 bound for Narita, Japan.

The four Japanese nationals had been detained at the Bureau of Immigration (BI) and whose deportation had been sought by the Japanese government.

The DOJ said they had been “identified by Japanese police to be the leaders of a criminal organization in their home country and have been charged with robbery and theft” and are “considered fugitives from justice.”

The DOJ had expressed hopes that the actions taken against the Japanese fugitives “signal to the international community that we are willing to cooperate in the fight against criminality.”

In dismissing the charges against Saito and Watanabe, Remulla said the Pasay City RTC acted on the motions of government prosecutors to withdraw the charges.

“The court upheld the grounds that we have been speaking about these cases looking like fabricated cases, done as an afterthought or only as a means of frustrating the government to deport the fugitives,” Remulla said.

He expressed doubts that the private complainants will be able to appeal the dismissal which is tantamount to an acquittal.

He had earlier said that many cases filed against Japanese nationals detained by the BI were “contrived charges” to prevent their deportation.

Should the private complainants insist on filing appeals, Remulla said they will need the conformity of the prosecutors or the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).

He said “we are now auditing all the persons detained in the Bureau of Immigration to see if there are other similar cases where deportation is being held off by cases so that we can deal with them.”

“We will have to be facing cases like these from other countries that we have to correct,” he said.

“We intend to cooperate with the other police forces who want to get fugitives from Philippine custody,” he assured.

TAGS: #DOJ #Sec. Remulla #Japanese fugitives #Deportation