THE PHILIPPINE Justice department has promised the Japanese government that it will expedite the deportation of four detained Japanese nationals who are suspected of masterminding a series of robberies in their home country.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla, at a press briefing streamed live on Facebook on Tuesday, said three of the suspects cannot be immediately deported since they have pending local cases of violence against women and estafa.
Mr. Remulla met with officials from the Japanese Embassy in Manila, who formally requested the deportation of the four suspects.
“We believe some of these (local) cases are contrived and are tactics used by their lawyers to keep them in the Philippines,” the Justice chief said.
He said the Department of Justice (DoJ) might file disbarment cases against the lawyers who filed what he called “contrived cases” that are keeping the Japanese nationals in the Philippines.
The Japanese Embassy did not immediately reply to a text message seeking comment.
In a statement on Friday, the DoJ said one of the suspects was arrested by immigration authorities in April 2021.
Mr. Remulla said he will try to settle the deportation proceedings before President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.’s scheduled trip to Japan on Feb. 8.
The local cases must be solved before the foreigners’ deportation since Japan and the Philippines do not have an extradition treaty.
“We will make sure the cases against them are dismissed before we deport anybody, as is the case that should be followed,” Mr. Remulla said.
“There should be no pending case of interest against these people from the Philippine government.” — John Victor D. Ordoñez