Press Release
September 22, 2015

Drilon: Reyes brothers' extradition has legal basis

Citing a 1981 Treaty between the Philippines and Thailand, Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today said that the country can immediately request the Thailand government to extradite the Reyes brothers - former Palawan governor Joel Reyes and former Coron Mayor - who are suspects in the killing of environmentalist and broadcaster Gerry Ortega in 2011.

"There is an extradition Treaty in force between the Philippines and Thailand which was ratified in 1981. The Philippine can seek the extradition of the Reyes brothers on the basis of this Treaty in order to facilitate the immediate resolution of the Ortega case," said Drilon.

"I urge Secretary Leila De Lima to coordinate with her counterpart in Thailand the immediate extradition of the Reyes brothers. The immediate arrest of the Reyes brothers will speed up the resolution of the Ortega case and provide justice to the victim's family," said Drilon.

The treaty aims "to make more effective the cooperation of the two countries in the repression of crime and, specifically, to regulate and thereby promote the relations between them in matters of extradition."

The treaty clearly specifies that the two countries "agree to extradite to each other, in the circumstance and subject to the conditions described in this Treaty, persons found in its territory who are being proceeded against or who have been charged with, found guilty or convicted of, any of the crimes" covered under the Treaty.

Drilon said that among the crimes specified under the Treaty include the killing or causing death to another person, abduction, kidnapping, corruption, and crimes against the laws relating to narcotics, firearms, and explosives.

Aside from the 1981 Treaty, the Senate in 2008 ratified a resolution concurring in the ratification of the ASEAN Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters.

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