British Embassy pledges help in snaring Griffiths-A A +A
Saturday, October 29, 2011
THE British Embassy in Manila assured full cooperation with Cebu authorities on the arrest of Ian Charles Griffiths, one of two suspects in the kidnap and murder of six-year-old Ellah Joy Pique.
âWe are here to discuss issues with the governor and we are here to support the Cebu authorities,â said Deputy Head of Mission Trevor Lewis, following a closed-door meeting with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday and members of the prosecution panel.
Lewis admitted they have no knowledge of the whereabouts of Griffiths, who is now in the Interpol Red Notice list.
The governor, in a separate interview, said the embassy has pledged to extend all assistance within the limits of the law to help in locating Griffiths.
Provincial Prosecutor Jane Petralba said they asked the British delegation questions about their legal process in Britain, so they would know what to do.
No agreement has been reached yet with the embassy since they only had exploratory talks in yesterdayâs meeting.
She also handed Lewis copies of the letters and red notice slips on Griffiths.
Griffiths, along with his Cebuana girlfriend Bella Ruby Santos, is facing kidnapping with homicide charges over Ellah Joyâs death.
Santos is now detained at the City of Naga jail.
After a meeting with the governor yesterday, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group National Director Samuel Pagdilao Jr. assured the parents of Pique that they will provide assistance in solving the case and even testify, if needed.
Pagdilao said he has given instructions to his men in Cebu.
Governor Garcia, who also heads the task force on anti-criminality, said the Philippine National Police and the Interpol are constantly communicating on the development of the case.
She said legal processes were discussed during the meeting with the British envoy, while Lewis was also given a full report on the case.
âConsidering that a warrant of arrest has been issued against Mr. Griffiths, I did state categorically that we would appreciate full support that they can extend, especially since the crime was committed against one of our constituents and worse, against a child,â Garcia told reporters after the meeting.
The embassy, Lewis said, will do its part.
He expressed confidence that the relationship between his country and the Philippines, particularly Cebu, will not be affected, as they will âwork closelyâ together.
The British envoy added they will also work on other issues such as tourism and possible business tie-ups.
âI saw the governor to express (our intention) to work very closely with her,â he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 29, 2011.