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PH, UK sign treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 26) — The Philippines and the United Kingdom on Thursday signed a treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons.

Justice Secretary Boying Remulla and UK Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils signed the treaty during a ceremony held at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The treaty allows individuals sentenced in another country to opt to serve their sentences in their native country. This means, Filipinos convicted in the UK can now choose to serve their remaining sentences in the Philippines.

«The underlying rationale is that being closer to family, friends, and familiar culture can better facilitate the rehabilitation of the sentenced individuals,» the DOJ said in a statement on Thursday.

The agency said the treaty on the transfer of sentenced persons complements the existing extradition treaty and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters treaty between the two countries.

«It's an option that we want to give them,» Remulla explained. «Of course, ang magiging side remarks diyan ng maraming Pilipino ay mabuti na ‘yung kulungan doon, maganda… well puwedeng totoo ‘yan pero still itong mga ganitong request kasi hindi mo hinihindian sapagkat it's part of diplomacy.»

[Translation: It's an option that we want to give them. Of course, the side remarks from many Filipinos will be that the prisons there are better. That might be true, but you can't say no to these requests because it's part of diplomacy.]

Beaufils said this is the right thing to do.

The Philippines has a similar treaty with Spain, Thailand, and Hong Kong.