Senate ratifies extradition treaties with UK, India, Spain

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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MANILA -- The Senate concurred Tuesday the ratification of the country's extradition treaties with the governments of United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Republic of India, and the Kingdom of Spain.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, chairperson of the foreign affairs committee who sponsored the resolutions, said the "extradition treaties are considered to be the most effective mechanism in obtaining the return of international fugitives in order for them to face the consequences of their criminal actions."

The resolutions were approved with 17 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and zero abstention.

"Criminals will have fewer places to run and hide in once these treaties become effective," she added. "Because of easier and faster means of international travel, the flight of rich criminals from one country to another to evade prosecution or commit crime has become more frequent."

Under the extradition treaties, "the contracting state parties undertake to extradite or surrender to each other any person who is wanted for prosecution, imposition or enforcement of a criminal sentence in the Requesting State for an extraditable offense."

The increasing rate of transnational crimes such as terrorism, money laundering, corruption, human trafficking, and violations of human rights necessitates treaties as important operational tools in the pursuit of justice and public safety, said Santiago.

"These treaties also fulfill the Philippines' international obligations under multilateral treaties like the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, which obligates state parties to strengthen cooperation with other states in the field of extradition, mutual legal assistance, and law enforcement," the senator said.

President Benigno Aquino III ratified the extradition treaties to United Kingdom, India and Spain last December 6, 2013.

Santiago said the Philippines has proposed or pending extradition negotiations with 12 other countries -- Austria, Belgium, Brazil, France, Iran, Israel, Jamaica, Peru, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Venezuela, and Vietnam. (Camille P. Balagtas/Sunnex)

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