Pinoy drug convict in Hawaii fights deportation for fear of 'Tokhang'
A Filipino who was incarcerated for selling illegal drugs in Hawaii is fighting his deportation for fear that he might get killed in the Philippines, given the Duterte administration's violent war against illegal drugs.
Herbert Carino, who immigrated from the Philippines when he was 9 years old, spent eight years in jail for selling crystal meth, according to a report on Hawaii News Now.
However, a year after his release in 2011, the 31-year-old Carino, now working as a commercial truck driver, was issued a deportation order due to his status as a convicted felon while holding a green card.
Carino said he and his fiance, Margaret, fear for his life if ever he's sent back to the Philippines. His lawyer, Gary Singh, said his life would be in jeopardy if deported because of his crime and the current anti-drug climate in the Philippines.
The Duterte administration's widely criticized anti-drug campaign dubbed "Oplan Tokhang" has been blamed for over 8,000 deaths of mostly drug suspects in the hands of either policemen or motorcycle-riding vigilantes.
Critics, which include international human rights groups, said President Rodrigo Duterte's tough rhetoric against drug suspects has inspired death squads to take matters in their own hands.
Carino, who has two children, is currently out on bail after he was taken into custody and held at the Federal Detention Center in December, the Hawaii News Now report said.
An immigration judge was asked to reconsider his case using the United Nations Convention against Torture, an international human rights treaty against "torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."
If he loses, Carino plans to take his case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which could issue a decision in a year or two, the report said. —Rie Takumi/KBK, GMA News