72 Taiwanese set for deportation next week-A A +A
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
AFTER more than a month in detention, the 72 Taiwanese are now prepared to be deported next week.
According to Lawyer Lyndon Yap, counsel for the foreigners, the Taiwanese most probable release will be next week.
He said the Taiwanese have already prepared themselves for their flight back to their country.
The 72 Taiwanese were arrested on April 18, after officials from the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (Teco) sought the help of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) on the suspects' alleged fraudulent activities.
The suspects allegedly posed as call center agents and blackmailed their victims in China and Taiwan into allegedly paying their outstanding water, electric and telephone bills.
Reports said the victims were forced to pay for fear that they would be charged in court as claimed by the suspects who phoned them.
The DCPO also dismissed charges of violation of Republic Act 8792, or the Electronic Commerce Act, since it was not established in the complaint that the foreigners committed the violation "at the time of implementation of search warrants."
The prosecutor also dismissed the illegal possession of firearms charges filed against 33 respondents since the complainant failed to state in his complaint "who in particular was the one possessing the said firearm."
The Teco in the Philippines is still acquiring plane tickets for the foreigners.
At least 20 of the detained Taiwanese have return tickets, but have to take the Cebu-Hong Kong-Taipei flight.
The Teco wants the Taiwanese to take a direct flight from Manila to Taipei due to the cases they have to face in their country.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 13 ordered the release of equipment seized from the 72 Taiwanese in a series of raids last month.
"Considering the dismissal of the complaints which is invariably related to the search warrants issued by this Court the issue of the validity of the Search Warrants has become functus oficio or moot," RTC Branch 13 Judge Isaac Robillo said in his order.
Robillo directed that the personal properties of the foreigners be released to them through lawyer Israelito Torreon. (Arianne Caryl N. Casas)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 30, 2012.