MANILA - The deportation of four Japanese nationals sought by their home country may commence by next week following the dismissal of the bulk of cases filed against them in various courts throughout the country, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Friday
Remulla made the statement following the dismissal of a Taguig Metropolitan Trial court of the "light threats" complaints filed against one of the Japanese nationals, Fujita Toshiya.
The DOJ Secretary said that the four Japanese nationals, which include Yuki "Luffy" Watanabe, the alleged leader of a Japan-based burglary gang that he reportedly managed from behind bars in the Philippines through cellphones, are facing 10 to 11 cases filed against them.
"I think we have already taken cared of seven of them, seven cases. So, maybe three more cases to go. But at least, in the one week we've been doing it, we've been able to move forward with the process of deportation," Remulla said.
"I don't know if it's Monday, or it's Tuesday. But we will definitely start (deportations) next week. Whatever date it is, when we're ready, when the tickets are there, when the escorts are there, then we start deporting, because they have to be escorted back to Japan," he added.
Aside from the deportations, local officials are also formalizing the turnover of evidence to the Japanese government, including the cellphones confiscated, in accordance with the rules on transnational crimes agreed upon between countries.
The case of Toshiya was dismissed earlier Wednesday by Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 116.
Clerk of Court Merly Pagkalinawan said "the motion to withdraw (filed by prosecutors) stated the ground that there is a consistent absence on the part of the private complainant."
"However, the court made an independent study, a revisit of the probable cause, and finds that there is none. That is the reason why the motion is granted and it has the effect of a dismissal of the case," the court said. (PNA)