MANILA, Philippines – A Taguig court has dismissed a light threats case filed against a Japanese fugitive, paving the way for his deportation to face charges in his home country.
Merly Pagkalinawan, clerk of court of Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 116 confirmed this on Friday, January February 3.
Pagkalinawan said that the court dismissed the light threats case filed against Toshiya Fujita after the court did not find probable cause against the accused. This comes ahead of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s working visit to Japan this month.
“The motion to withdraw 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,” Pagkalinawan told reporters.
Japanese news outlet Kyodo News had earlier named Fujita as among a group of four Japanese in Manila wanted back home for a strong of robbery cases. Philippine authorities are working on deporting them together, at the request of Japanese authorities.
The court’s resolution, dated February 1, is based on the prosecution’s motion to withdraw the case against Fujita. Granting the motion has the effect of the dismissal of the case, the clerk of court explained.
State prosecutors, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice (DOJ), have the power to indict a person once the complaint against them is found to have probable cause. The person is only charged once the prosecutor files the information before a court. (READ: Indicted? Charged? A guide to court jargon)
The resolution stemmed from the complaint filed by a certain Francis Alcantara, a lawyer. Based on the complaint-affidavit, the accusation is based on alleged threats that happened on August 20, 2021.
“Allegedly, he was threatened that a disbarment case will be filed against him. That is the complaint-affidavit, but I am not saying it is the merits of the case,” the clerk of court said.
Light threats is punishable under the Article 283 of the Revised Penal Code, which states: “Any threat to commit a wrong not constituting a crime, made in the manner expressed in subdivision 1 of the next preceding article, shall be punished by arresto mayor.”
The media has yet to be furnished with a copy of the court resolution but according to Pagkalinawan, there are no proven overt acts on the part of the accused.
“There are no overt acts on the part of accused, so there is really no reason to file probable cause. Independently, there is no probable causes here – probable cause on the part of the prosecution and probable cause on the part of the judge,” she explained.
“The judge made an independent study and there is none…the complaint affidavit really states that there is no overt acts on the part of the accused,” she added.
Pagkalinawan said the prosecution’s motion stated that their ground is the consistent absence on the part of the complainant. She also noted that both the parties hardly made any appearances.
The warrant of arrest issued against Fujita is now considered lifted following the case’s dismissal.
The Philippines has no extradition treaty with Japan.
DOJ chief Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla earlier revealed that some lawyers supposedly turn to “invented cases” to keep Japanese fugitives from being deported. Based on the country’s immigration rules, foreigners cannot be deported if they have pending cases in the country.
There are 17 Japanese under the Bureau of Immigration’s custody. – Rappler.com
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