RP TO APPEAL CANADA'S DECISION ON PACIFICADOR   

Manila, March 5, 2003 -- Officials of the Department of Justice will ask the Supreme Court of Canada to reconsider its ruling denying the Philippine government's request for former Assemblyman Rodolfo Pacificador's extradition to Manila.

Justice Undersecretary Manuel A.J. Teehankee yesterday said the Philippine government may opt to file a "diplomatic protest" to question the Canadian high tribunal's ruling.

The Pacificadors have been indicted in connection with the killing of Antique Gov. Evelio Javier in 1986. "Contrary to the (Canadian) Supreme Court's perception of the case, it is moving earnestly. In fact, the trial court has denied bail for Pacificador Sr.," Teehankee said.

"We will await for an official copy of the decision and then we will plan our next action once get a copy of the ruling," he clarified. "We reserve all options."

Acting Foreign Affairs Secretary Lauro Baja Jr. said the Canadian Court last Feb. 20 upheld an Aug. 1, 2002 ruling of the Ontario Court of Appeals.

Pacificador, his father Arturo, and several other men were charged with murder, frustrated murder and four counts of attempted murder in 1986.

Pacificador entered Canada and claimed refugee status on Oct. 8, 1987. An extradition treaty between RP and Canada came into effect on Nov. 12, 1990.

Pacificador, in fighting the extradition request cited manipulation, fabrication of evidence and maltreatment of the co-accused during their pre-trial detention.

"The shocking and unacceptable delay in bringing the appellant (Pacifiador)'s so-accused to trial and the shocking and unacceptable period of pre-trial detention and denial of bail fall far below Canadian standards," the Canada court said. (Benjamin B. Pulta, Tribune)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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