Nabbed Japanese ‘could only’ get legal aid from embassy
The Japanese Embassy in the Philippines will not “get involved” in the case of Yoshiyo Morino, who was caught in the company of a minor inside a motel room in Cebu City last Wednesday.
An administrative staff at the Japanese Consulate in Cebu, who refused to be identified due to protocol restrictions, said the only form of “legal assistance” they can extend is the recommendation of a lawyer.
“We gave a list of Cebu-based lawyers who can defend him (on Thursday). We just don’t know which one he chose,” he told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview yesterday.
The National Bureau of Investigation in Central Visayas (NBI-7) arrested Morino on Wednesday while in the company of a 15-year-old girl inside a room at a motel along Gen. Maxilom Avenue.
Morino allegedly met the minor through an online dating website. The girl stated that she was 19 years old in her profile.
The tourist admitted that he had sex with the girl twice, but did not force her into it contrary to the latter’s narration of events. He also said that he did not know the girl was 15 years old.
Complaints for child abuse, rape and trafficking were filed against Morino, who has been on vacation in Cebu for a month.
The consulate staff said this was the first time he encountered such a case since he was assigned to his post two years ago.
“We don’t get involved. We only monitor the case and assist with whatever needs the Japanese national has,” he said.
He added that they will not be extending financial assistance to the tourist as well. Morino is a retired chef from Tokyo and a widower with two adult children.
The consulate will be closely coordinating with the NBI and will relay information to the Japanese Embassy in Metro Manila.
The source said the Bureau of Immigration will initiate any deportation proceedings, but his office has not yet received any feedback regarding the matter.
“Whatever their decision is, we will abide,” he said.
However, he said that it will be difficult to deport the Japanese national since there is already a pending case against him.
He divulged there is another Japanese national in Cebu that the bureau wanted to deport, but cannot since there was also a pending case.
The source, however, refused to reveal the charges filed against the other Japanese national.
Meanwhile, the minor remains under the custody of NBI-7.
Provincial social worker Yvette Deguit said what happened was due to the easy access of young people to technology and social media.
She said parents should play an active role in monitoring their children’s online activities.
Deguit suggested that personal computers should not be placed inside the child’s room, but in the living area for everyone to see.
Access to the Internet on the mobile phone, however, is more difficult to control, she added.
The website where Morino and the girl allegedly met claims “it is part of a well-established media network that operates over 30 reputable niche dating sites. With a commitment to connecting singles worldwide, we bring the Philippines to you.”
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