JUSTICE Secretary Menardo I. Guevarra on Friday said his department will consider extradition, upon request by a US court, of Janet Lim Napoles and five other relatives who have been indicted in the United States in connection with a $20-million money laundering scheme.
He also confirmed the Bureau of Immigration records which show that a daughter of Ms. Napoles, Jeane Catherine Napoles, left the country on July 27.
Besides Janet Lim Napoles, Jo Christine Napoles, James Christopher Napoles, Reynald Luy Lim and Ana Marie Lim are still in the Philippines.
“Should the US request their extradition and they are not facing any court cases here, we will evaluate and commence the appropriate proceedings,” Mr. Guevarra said in a text message to reporters.
Article 11 of the Philippines’ extradition treaty with the US states that “The Requested State may postpone the extradition proceedings against a person who is being prosecuted or who is serving a sentence in that State.”
In the same provision, it was noted the Requested State may temporarily surrender the person to the Requesting State for the purpose of prosecution.
At present, the Napoles matriarch has pending cases at the Sandiganbayan. Should an extradition request be granted by the DoJ, the US government will have to wait until the conclusion of the case or a sentence, if any, has been served.
“(C)onsidering that an indictment has already been made in US courts, the US government has ways of tracking down the defendants anywhere, including tapping the assistance of the Interpol,” Mr. Guevarra said. — Charmaine A. Tadalan