After 16 years locked up in its detention centre, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) has finally sent home its longest staying detainee – a 47-year-old Japanese man.
BI spokeswoman Elaine Tan said Junichi Inoue, who has been detained since 1999, was deported to his home country last Wednesday.
“We are glad to have finally deported him to his native country Japan, considering that the bureau is not in the business of detaining but deporting,” BI Commissioner Siegfred Mison said in a statement today (Tuesday, May 26).
Mr Inoue was apprehended and quarantined at the BI’s notorious Bicutan Warden Facility in Taguig City because he violated the conditions of his stay. His passport had been cancelled and he was reportedly facing a robbery case back in Japan.
Upon his arrest, the Japanese man applied to the BI for voluntary deportation, which was granted to him on May 13, 1999.
However, the BI was prevented from implementing the deportation order against Mr Inoue because he had pending cases for the violation of Batas Pambansa 22, or the Anti-Bouncing Check Law, before the municipal trial courts of Cainta, Rizal; Biñan, Laguna; San Pedro, Laguna; and Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija.
BI rules provide that a foreign national, subject to a final deportation order, may not be physically deported if he has pending obligations with the Philippine government, especially if the obligation arises from any sort of criminal liability.
The slow-moving wheels of the Philippine justice system have therefore ensured that Mr Inoue has served what in most countries would be a life-sentence before being freed.
Search our archives for more examples of how foreigners are treated at the Bicutan detention centre.
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