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PH, China boost cooperation against crimes

/ 05:24 PM October 19, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—Philippine and Chinese officials on Friday exchanged instruments of ratification of a mutual assistance accord expected to allow authorities effectively enforce laws against criminals from both countries.

In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) noted that the exchange of instruments on the Philippine-China Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (MLAT) occurred on the sidelines of the 18th Foreign Ministry Consultations Friday.

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Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Irene Susan Natividad and Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Ma Keqing exchanged the instruments of ratification in simple ceremonies witnessed by the Philippine and Chinese delegations.

“Given the rising number of transnational crimes, the MLAT will allow the Philippines and China to obtain evidence, witnesses and proceeds of crimes that are beyond the country’s physical and legal jurisdiction and win the fight against transnational crimes,” it said.

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The DFA added that assistance under the agreement included taking of testimony of witnesses, provision of documents and items of evidence, exchange of criminal records, execution of searches and seizures, location and identification of witnesses and tracing and confiscation of proceeds of crimes, and freezing of assets, among others.

Both countries signed the agreement on October 16, 2000. China ratified the treaty in 2001 while the Philippines ratified it on May 8, 2012.

The Philippines also has MLATs enforced with the United Kingdom, Australia, United States, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Republic of Korea and Spain.

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TAGS: agreement, China, Crimes, Philippines
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