DOJ orders release of 3 Japanese, 4 Pinoys

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Monday, March 24, 2014


THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has ordered the release of three Japanese nationals and four Filipinos after the police failed to include in their complaint the evidence that the seven respondents are allegedly engaged in the operation of a cybersex den in Pangasinan.

In a six-page resolution, the DOJ said that if not for the title in the complaint affidavit and clarificatory questioning, they would never know that Takayuki Umeda, 42; Jyunko Wang, 36; Masahiro Kishigami, 26; Erlinda Tandoc, 40; Leonora Ceralde, 38; Josephine Gille, 34 and Rafael "Raffy" Tandoc, 25, violated Republic Act (RA) 10364 or the "Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012," and RA 10591 or the "Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act."

The seven were arrested on March 17, following a raid conducted by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) and the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission (PAOCC) at Kame Hachi Corporation, Japanese Learning School in Lingayen, Pangasinan.

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"The complaint affidavit of the arresting officers merely stated that the police officers implemented the search warrant issued by the [Pangasinan] court. Nowhere in the said affidavit was it shown how the crime of trafficking in persons was committed," the DOJ resolution signed by Assistant State Prosecutors Gilmarie Fe S. Pacamarra and Mark Roland Estepa said.

The resolution was approved by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edna A. Valenzuela, vice chairperson, Task Force on Anti-Trafficking in Persons, and Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano.

"It would have been more prudent, to say the least, for the police officers to have presented the witnesses and/or submitted the affidavits that were used in the application of the search warrant from the Regional Trial Court of San Carlos City, Pangasinan. This, they have not done," the DOJ resolution added.

During questioning, the police said that the rescued victims were supposed to be teachers but are posing nude via Skype and invite Japanese nationals to the country in exchange for sexual favors.

However, the resolution noted that the police failed to present any evidence to support their claims.

On the other hand, the seized items, the police enclosed in the complaint only printed copies of colored photographs of the seized items.

Among the items seized are six laptops, 55 units of desktops, 44 sets of CPU, 1 unit of Toyota Grandia, 1 unit of .22 caliber magnum, webcams, headsets, UPS, USB, five mobile phones, passports, ATM cards, transaction payments and cash denominated in pesos and yen.

However, the DOJ did not dismiss the anti-trafficking case since the San Carlos City, Pangasinan RTC has found basis to issue the search warrant against the supposed school.

It gave the police the chance to present their evidence in a preliminary investigation on April 2, 2014.

Meanwhile, the DOJ dismissed the case for violation of the "Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act" after the police admitted that the confiscated .22 caliber gun was not part of the search warrant issued by the court and for the police's failure to produce documents to show that the gun has no license.

Furthermore, the resolution said that the police do not even know the owner of the firearm. (PNA)

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