By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA – Four Japanese nationals wanted in their home country were deported by the Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Wednesday.
In a statement, Commissioner Norman Tansingco said Fujita Kairi, 24; Kumai Hitomi, 25; Terashima Haruma, 28; and Sato Shohei, 32, boarded a Japan Airlines flight to Narita after having been tagged as undesirable aliens by the bureau.
Fujita and Kumai were arrested by operatives of the BI’s Fugitive Search Unit (FSU) in Parañaque City on March 10.
The two have standing arrest warrants issued by the Tokyo Summary Court in September 2022 for theft in violation of the Japanese Penal Code.
Both were suspected to be involved in the “Luffy” case that previously made headlines in Japan for a string of violent crimes in the capital Tokyo.
On the other hand, Terashima was intercepted at the BI’s Satellite office in SM Aura, Taguig on Feb. 28 after an attempt to extend his tourist visa.
He faces a similar case in Japan, after reportedly impersonating a police officer and an employee of the Japan Ministry of Finance to steal ATM cards.
Sato is also wanted in Japan for theft and was arrested by FSU officers along Newport Boulevard in Pasay City on April 24.
The four have been included in the BI’s blacklist of aliens, effectively barring their return to the country.
Meanwhile, Tansingco thanked the members of the House of Representatives for approving the proposed immigration modernization law on second reading.
Sponsored by the Committee on Justice chairperson, Rep. Juliet Marie Ferrer, the proposed law under House Bill 8203 has been tagged as a priority bill of the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council.
During her sponsorship speech, Ferrer cited the importance of improving and modernizing immigration to stimulate economic growth, increase foreign investments, promote tourism, and create more employment opportunities.
She noted that the proposed law is in line with the economic agenda of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
Ferrer also pointed out that immigration officers are among the lowest-paid employees in government, with the position of IO 1 holding only Salary Grade 11.
The bill was co-sponsored by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez, Elizaldy Co, Jurdin Jesus Romualdo, Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr., Miguel Luis Villafuerte, Tsuyoshi Anthony Horibata, Marcelino Libanan, Marie Bernadette Escudero, Gus Tambunting, Pablo John Garcia, and Noel Rivera.
Rodriguez and Libanan have previously served as Immigration commissioners. (PNA)