Foreign fugitives use fake cases, schemes to evade deportation, says Remulla

Filing of contrived cases has been used by foreign fugitives to prevent deportation to their country where they are expect to face stiffer penalties for their crimes, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said.

Jesus Crispin Remulla. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Foreign fugitives have been known to file false charges to avoid repatriation to their home country, where they would likely face harsher punishments for their crimes, according to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.

After filing requests to dismiss local cases in Japan, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has started deportation proceedings against four Japanese nationals suspected of robbery, theft, and fraud.

On Friday, the Bacolod Regional Trial Court dismissed a Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) case against Japanese national Fujita Toshiya.

The Bacolod court found that the complainant had stopped working with the prosecutor after the case had been filed.

The Bacolod prosecutor informed the court that the DOJ is investigating a scheme of filing criminal cases against foreign nationals to delay the deportation of those believed to be fugitives in their home country.

The court then scheduled a hearing and notified the complainant. But the subpoena was returned unserved and they were informed by the process server that the complainant was unknown at the address she gave the prosecutor and the court.

“The fact that private complainant is not known at the given address, coupled with her apparent inaction and lack of interest to follow up these cases…indicates a high probability that there might be some semblance of truth to the allegation of the trial prosecutor that these cases were filed with the end in mind to delay the deportation of the accused to his home country,” the court said.

“The trial prosecutor is of the opinion that after re-evaluation of its evidence, the same is wanting of sufficient and necessary corroborative evidence to warrant a successful conviction of the accused should trial proceed,” the court said.

It granted the motion to withdraw the three counts of  VAWC cases but admonished the prosecution to be more cautious in screening cases it is filing in court.

“This is what I meant by contrived or fabricated cases,” he said.

The Taguig City Metropolitan Trial Court dismissed another case against Fujita for the light threat.

Branch Clerk of Court Merle Pagkalinawan said the complaint was filed by a certain lawyer Francis Alcantara who was threatened of disbarment by Fujita on August, 2021.

After the case was assigned to them, she said they immediately set a twice hearing for the case but none of the parties appeared in both instances.

Remulla said they would not tolerate lawyers who connived with the foreign fugitives and vowed to take action against them.


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