Former President Arroyo witnessing the signing of the extradition treaty by Foreign Secretary Alberto Romulo and First Minister Lord Mandelson last year in London, this is now waiting for ratification before the Senate and many requests will be filed as soon as this is completed (PIA)
UPDATED - ADDITIONAL FEATURE FROM CHESHIRE NEWSPAPER
Police and law officers in the Philippines and United Kingdom are dusting off old files in anticipation of the formality of the extradition treaty between the two countries which was signed last year. All that is holding it up is the Senate ratifying it and a lot of wanted people in both countries are expected to be paid visits.
Andrew Battman of Caring Careers Training in Oxfordshire (below left) and Adrian Park of Jivaro in Cheshire (below right), both companies involved in NVQ training, have had indictments filed before the Davao Regional Trial Court (RTC) and lawyers there are set to file extradition requests as soon as possible. It is not expected they will be the only ones.
Up until now wanted people in both countries have slept safely in the knowledge that they could not be forced to appear before a court as no treaty existed between the UK and the Philippines. That is now expected to change shortly, and the two British businessmen named above are expected to have their cases filed immediately upon ratification by prosecutors in Davao.
The treaty had been several years in the planning and negotiation and was agreed to primarily becuase of the number of pedophiles and sex tourists going to PH. The scope of the treaty however encompasses most crimes with a few notable exceptions. That of illegal large scale recruitment and estafa, as mentioned in the Battman and Park cases, are covered.
The salient points of the treaty for extraditable offences are that:
For the purposes of this Article, an offence shall be an extraditable offence if:
(a) the conduct on which the offence is based is punishable under the laws of both States by a maximum sentence of at least twelve (12) months imprisonment or another form of detention, or by a greater punishment;
(b) the person whose extradition has been requested has been convicted by a competent court of the Requesting State, a sentence of imprisonment or another form of detention of a term of four (4) months or more has been imposed and the conduct is punishable under the laws of the Requested State by a maximum sentence of at least twelve (12) months imprisonment or another form of detention, or by a greater punishment.
2. An offence shall be an extraditable offence whether or not the laws of the Contracting States place the offence within the same category or describe the offence by a different terminology.
The text in italics above is taken directly from the treaty document: Philippines No. 1 (2010) Extradition Treaty between the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the Philippines London, 18 September 2009. © Crown Copyright 2010
To see the complete treaty document. click on the link below:
The only exceptions in the treaty are the normal ones to be expected, that is political and military crimes are not in the remit of the treaty and any crime which could attract the death penalty is specifically excluded.
These charges of large scale illegal recruitment and estafa relate to complaints in Davao relating firstly to Caring Careers Training, its Philippine subsidiary Caring Careers Limited UK Visa Assistance Services (CCL) based in Davao & Cagayan De Oro, and that of Jivaro by Filipino applicants who have paid money and not received visas to enter the UK.
Caring Careers Training has previously been reported on in Balita Pinoy and is under scrutiny in the UK. Run by Andrew Battman, he has refused all calls for an interview and has not replied to texts and e-mails. Jivaro boss Adrian Park said when notified of this news that he vehemently denied any wrongdoing and stated that he had agreed to assist applicants of CCL Davao run by husband & wife team Jay & Jennifer Mariano (pictured below).
This was after October 2009 as the relationship between CCL Davao and Caring Careers Training (CCT) had broken down and the Mariano's had many applicants. An agreement had been made that Park would process the applications. Mr Park stated to Balita Pinoy that he had not been paid by the Mariano's for work he had undertaken and therefore that relationship had broken down.
When contacted by Balita Pinoy, Jay Mariano refuted this assertion stating that he had bank transfer receipts to back up his claims that Jivaro had been paid.
Jivaro boss Adrian Park has also stated that he had originally been contacted by CCT's Andrew Battman in May of 2009 but had declined to work with him citing that he was unimpressed after visiting Battman's Bicester HQ, and that after being contacted several months later by the Mariano's he agreed to a deal whereby he would process the UK side of the applications.
What is clear is that notwithstanding the charges filed in Davao, there is a three cornered fight between Park, Battman and the Mariano's as to who is to blame. What is not at issue is that many applicants have been left out of pocket without getting the much awaited visas to enter the UK. With the recent announcement by the British Home Secretary on the matters of a migration cap, it may be those applicants may only see the sights of London on TV.
The papers filed by the public prosecutor in Davao are reproduced at the end of this article. The prosecutor himself, Edwin Diez, refused to speak on the record on this matter citing the rules of his office, however, Attorney Ferdinand Taglucop of the the Davao legal firm Banzali & Taglucop who filed the original complaints, stated that more complainants were coming forward and that the issue of extradition was one waiting for ratification by the Senate.
The head of the National Bureau of Investigation in Davao, Attorney Max Salvador stated he could not comment on his office's filing of indictments against Adrian Park (which is separate to that of the public prosecutor), but the issue of extradition in these cases would now be more probable given the attitude of the new Philippine government under President Aquino towards the matter of human trafficking. Basically, the political will is now in place.
The reality would appear to be that whilst most are being very coy on the issue of extradition, the fact it is now being mentioned openly suggests that there may be a race as to gets the first extradition completed from the UK to the Philippines. The resultant publicity would do a prosecutor's career no harm.
Additional story on extradition threat - from a Cheshire Newspaper
Sources within the Philippine Embassy in London have told Balita Pinoy that they are obviously aware of the treaty and are just waiting for ratification by the Senate, and that it is they who will be part of the diplomatic channel filing extradition applications on behalf of the government in Manila. They would not comment on individual cases.
There are many other possible cases that may be filed. These do not just include British nationals, there are many Filipinos living in the UK with or without British citizenship who will be liable for extradition. Two obvious candidates would be Lalaine & Aidan Ubando, former owners of Far East Express and AJ Global money remitters. There is a case at present before the Makati Regional Trial Court, where two of the officers of Far East Express (FEER) based in the Philippines are indicted. The Ubando's are also under indictment but have resolutely decided to remain in the UK. This may well change as an extradition on the charges of syndicated estafa would be well within the purview of this treaty, and that remaining in the UK out of the reach of the Philippine courts is coming to a close.
This treaty is not all a one way affair; there will be many UK nationals as well as Filipinos living in PH who have been safe in the knowledge that the long arm of Scotland Yard does not quite reach to that part of the South China Sea.
In one famous case 15 years ago, no extradition treaty did not mean a felon was able to remain in PH. The case of Brett Tyler, a pedophile murderer, was settled because the Philippine government did not want him there, and using violations of Philippine immigration laws, had him deported to the UK where he was convicted and sentenced to life in jail at the Old Bailey. However this case was an exception as it was very high profile and nauseating being the sex murder of an eight year old boy, and that the visa violations meant the killer could be easily kicked out of the country and into the arms of waiting British police.
The ratification of the treaty will have British police getting their lawyers to file a raft of extradition case, and checking their passports in anticipation of making submissions in Philippine courts.
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