Press Release
April 26, 2016


With the plight of thousands of Filipinos languishing in jails abroad in mind, Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero wants the Philippines to forge prisoner transfer treaties with more countries to allow its citizens serving jail time in a foreign land to serve the remainder of their sentence back home and closer to their families.

At present, the independent vice-presidential candidate noted that the Philippines only has three bilateral prisoner transfer treaties in force in Spain, Thailand and Hong Kong, considering that there are around 10 million Filipinos scattered in more than 190 countries in the world.

Escudero said that if the "Gobyernong may Puso" wins, he and his presidential running mate, Sen. Grace Poe, plans to work out transfer of sentenced persons agreement (TSPA) with more countries, particularly Malaysia and the Middle East where several overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) are imprisoned.

"Dapat isulong ng bansa natin ang pagpasa ng mga [kasunduang] ito para sinumang Pilipino na maparusahan ng pagkabilanggo ay may option na dito nya i-serve 'yung sentence malapit sa kanyang pamilya at mahal sa buhay,"Escudero said during the "ParaPoSaBayan: The GMA-Facebook Jeepney Interview" over the weekend.

Data from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) show that around 3,800 Filipinos are imprisoned in different countries for various offenses.

The DFA also reported that there are 79 Filipinos on death row, 41 of them are in Malaysia and their charges are mostly murder or related to illegal drugs.

Escudero earlier revealed that the "Gobyernong may Puso" plans to set up a P100-billion fund for the millions of Filipino migrant workers to finance a wide-ranging services to them, including the establishment of a separate department to cater to the needs of OFWs.

The Poe-Escudero tandem has been proposing reduced fees and greater government assistance for OFWs, which number around 2.3 million. The total migrant population, however, is estimated to around 10 million or 10 percent of the country's entire population.

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