November 22, 2021 at 11:10 pm
Rey E. Requejo
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Monday said extradition proceedings are no longer necessary if the person would decide to voluntarily turn himself in to the jurisdiction of the requesting state.
Guevarra issued the statement following reports on the possible extradition of Pastor Apollo Carreon Quiboloy to the US after he was indicted by a federal grand jury with sex trafficking along with two co-defendants identified as Teresita Tolibas Dandan and Felina Salinas.
“All talks about possible extradition will be mooted if the person sought to be extradited opted to voluntarily surrender to the jurisdiction of the requesting state and defend himself/herself with the assistance of counsel in the appropriate legal proceedings in the requesting state,” Guevarra said, in a text message.
But Guevarra immediately clarified that his statement should not be considered as a hint on the possible scenario in the case of Quiboloy. “Just informing you of the theoretical legal framework,” he stressed.
Earlier, Guevarra Quiboloy could still be extradited to the US despite the pendency of the appeal filed before his office in connection with the dismissal of criminal charges for rape, child abuse, ill-treatment, trafficking in persons through forced labor, and trafficking in persons through sexual abuse filed against him before the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office by a female complainant.
A female complainant in Davao City filed the complaint in 2020 against Quiboloy but the complaint was dismissed by the Davao City Prosecutor’s Office. The complainant has appealed the dismissal before the Office of the Secretary of Justice and is still pending.
The Justice secretary stressed that extradition proceedings are a long process that would involve court proceedings.
According to him, the Department of Justice and the Department of Affairs would have to evaluate first and determine if the US case is covered by the existing extradition treaty.
If it is established that the US case is covered by the treaty, the DOJ will file a petition for extradition before a local court.
“If granted, and the judgment became final, the respondent may then be physically turned over to the requesting state for further legal proceedings,” Guevarra pointed out.