Filipino priest accused of sexual abuse to be extradited to US

A FILIPINO priest who was indicted for having sexual contact with teenage boys over a decade ago may soon be sent back to the United States to face charges.

Reverend Father Fernando Sayasaya lost his battle at the Court of Appeals (CA) after its first division refused to reverse the decision of the Manila City Regional Trial Court last December 2010 granting the request of the Department of Justice for him to be extradited.

The DOJ filed the petition on behalf of the US government.

"Suppression of crimes is the concern not only of the state where it is committed but also of any other state to which the criminal may have escaped," the decision penned by Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier stated.

"On this score, we cannot allow our country to be a haven for fugitives, cowards, and weaklings who, instead of facing the consequences of their actions, choose to run and hide," it added.

Concurring in the decision were CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr., and Associate Justice Sesinando Villon.

Acting on a complaint filed by brothers Hugo and Pablo Zamarron, prosecutors slapped two felony charges for gross sexual imposition against Sayasaya in Cass County, North Dakota only in December 2002, or four years since the alleged sexual molestation happened.

Sayasaya, a former priest at St. Mary's church in Fargo and the Blessed Sacrament church in West Fargo, North Dakota, left the US in December 1998 to spend Christmas in the Philippines.

He reportedly promised to return in January 1999 but failed to do so, citing financial constraints.(Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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