PH eyes prisoner transfer pact with UK: DOJ

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday announced talks with the British government for a possible agreement on the transfer of sentenced prisoners between London and Manila.

"We met the British Consul Martin O' Neill yesterday (Monday) and he intimated their desire to enter into a TSPA (Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreement) with us. Once the request is formalized through the DFA (Department of Foreign Affairs), (the United Kingdom) and (the Philippines) will exchange drafts as a prerequisite to negotiations," Justice Undersecretary and spokesperson Markk Perete told newsmen.

Perete said there are less than 10 Filipinos imprisoned in the UK.

"We likewise want projections from the DFA of the number of Philippine nationals in the UK for us to determine the prioritization to be accorded to the UK request to negotiate. At the moment, our priority remains UAE (United Arab Emirates) and those other states where many Filipinos work or reside," Perete said.

On Dec. 6, 2010, the DOJ entered into the Transfer of Sentenced Persons Agreement (TSPA) with the governments of Canada, Cuba, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Spain, and Thailand.

Under the terms of the 2010 agreement, the acts which became the basis of the prison sentence must be punishable in both the state which sentenced the person and the administering state which requests the transfer of the person who must be a national of the administering state.

The judgment must be final and in general, must still serve at least one year of the sentence except in exceptional cases.

Likewise under the agreement, once the transfer has been carried out, the enforcement of the sentence shall be governed by the laws of the administering state who shall be bound by the duration of the sentence of deprivation of liberty; findings of facts indicated in the judgment and is bound not to convert the sentence into a "pecuniary" sanction.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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