The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines
(TECO) and The Manila Economic and Cultural Office in Taiwan
(MECO), hereinafter referred to as "The Parties";
Desiring to improve the effective cooperation of the law
enforcement authorities of the territories represented by either
Party through mutual legal assistance in criminal matters on the
basis of mutual respect, reciprocity, and mutual benefit;
Adhering to their respective laws and regulations;
Have agreed as follows:
Article 1 Scope of Assistance
1. The Parties shall, in accordance with this Agreement and the
laws of the territories that they represent, provide mutual
legal assistance through the relevant authorities of the
territories they represent, in connection with the
investigation, prosecution, prevention of offenses and in
proceedings related to criminal matters.
2. Assistance shall include:
a) taking the testimony or statements of persons;
b) providing documents, records, and articles of evidence;
c) locating or identifying persons;
d) serving documents;
e) facilitating requests for searches and seizures;
g) assisting in proceedings related to immobilization and
confiscation of assets or collection of fines; and
h) any other form of assistance not contrary to the laws of the
territory represented by the Requested Party.
3. The Parties shall make the best efforts to provide assistance
even if the conduct that is the subject of the investigation,
prosecution, or proceeding in the territory represented by
the Requesting Party would not constitute an offense under
the laws of the territory represented by the Requested Party.
4. This Agreement is intended solely for mutual legal assistance
between the Parties. The provisions of this Agreement shall
not give rise to a right on the part of any private person to
obtain, suppress, or exclude any evidence, or to impede the
execution of a request.
Article 2 Request for Assistance
1. Requests for assistance to the relevant authorities of the
territory represented by either Party will be received by the
other Party for its consideration and endorsement to its
2. The central channel/agency for the territories represented by
the Parties are:
a) For TECO: the Ministry of Justice or persons designated by
the Ministry of Justice.
b) For MECO: the Department of Justice or persons designated by
the Department of Justice.
3. The Parties will communicate directly with each other for the
purposes of this Agreement.
Article 3 Grounds for Refusal or Postponement of Assistance
1. Assistance may be refused if:
a) the request relates to a political offence;
b) the request relates to an offense under military law that
would not be an offense under the ordinary criminal law of
the territory represented by the Requested Party;
c) the execution of the request would prejudice the security,
public order, or similar essential interests of the
territory represented by the Requested Party;
d) the request is made pursuant to Article 14，and Article 18
and relates to conduct which, if committed in the territory
represented by the Requested Party, would not be an offense
in that territory; or
e) the execution of the request requires steps to be taken that
would be inconsistent with the law of the territory
represented by the Requested Party.
2. Assistance may be postponed if the immediate execution of the
request would interfere with an ongoing investigation,
prosecution or criminal proceedings in the territory
represented by the Requested Party.
3. Before refusing a request for assistance, the Parties shall
consult with each other to determine whether assistance may
be given subject to such terms and conditions as the
authorities of the territory represented by the Requested
Party deem necessary. If the Requesting Party accepts the
assistance subject to those terms and conditions, the
authorities of the territory represented by it shall comply
with the conditions.
4. If the Requested Party refuses or postpones the execution of
a request for assistance, it shall inform the Requesting
Party of the reasons for such refusal or postponement.
Article 4 Form and Contents of Requests
1. A request for assistance shall be in writing. In urgent
situations, a request may be made orally, but in such cases
the request shall be confirmed in writing within ten (10)
days. The request shall be in the language used in the
territory represented by the Requested Party. Nevertheless,
upon request, the same may be in the English language.
2. The request shall include the following:
a) the name of the authority conducting the investigation,
prosecution, or proceeding to which the request relates;
b) a description of the subject matter and nature of the
investigation, prosecution, or proceeding, including the
specific criminal offenses that relate to the matter and any
punishment that might be imposed for each offense;
c) a description of the evidence, information, or other
assistance sought; and
d) a statement of the purpose for which the evidence,
information, or other assistance is sought.
3. To the extent necessary and possible, a request shall also
a) information on the identity and location of any person from
whom evidence is sought;
b) information on the identity and location of a person to be
served, that person's relationship to the proceedings, and
the manner in which service is to be made;
c) information on the identity and whereabouts of a person to
d) a precise description of the place or person to be searched
and of the articles to be seized;
e) a description of the manner in which any testimony or
statement is to be taken or recorded;
f) a list of questions to be asked of a witness or a defendant;
g) a description of any particular procedure to be followed in
executing the request;
h) information as to the allowances and expenses to which a
person asked to appear in the territory represented by the
Requesting Party will be entitled; and
i) any other information that may be brought to the attention
of the Requested Party to facilitate its execution of the
4. If the Requested Party considers the contents contained in
the request not sufficient to enable the request to be dealt
with, it may request additional information.
5. No form of certification or authentication will be required
for a request for assistance or its supporting documents.
Article 5 Execution of Requests
1. The Requested Party shall execute the request or arrange for
its execution through the competent authorities of the
territory it represents. Requests for assistance and the
method of execution specified in the request shall be carried
out in the manner provided for by the laws of the territory
represented by the Requested party.
2. The authorities of the territory represented by the Requested
Party shall use their best efforts to keep confidential a
request and its contents if such confidentiality is requested
by the Requesting Party. If the request cannot be executed
without breaching such confidentiality, the Requested party
shall so inform the Requesting Party, which shall then
determine whether the request should nevertheless be
3. The Requested Party shall respond to reasonable inquiries by
the Requesting Party on progress toward execution of the
4. The Requested Party shall promptly inform the Requesting
Party of the outcome of the execution of the request. If the
request is denied, the Requested Party shall inform the
Requesting Party of the reasons for the denial in writing.
Article 6 Costs
1. The Requested Party shall pay the costs relating to the
execution of the request, but the Requesting Party shall
a) the allowances or expenses for the travel of persons under
Article 10 of this Agreement in accordance with the laws and
the regulations of the territory represented by the
b) the allowances or expenses for persons who travel to and
from, or stay in the territory represented by the Requested
Party under Article 8(3) of this Agreement;
c) the costs of establishing and operating video conferencing
or television links and the interpretation and transcription
of such proceedings pursuant to Article 11 of this
d) the expenses and fees of experts; and
e) the costs of translation，interpretation, and transcription.
2. If it becomes apparent that the execution of the request
requires expenses of an extraordinary nature, the Parties
shall consult with each other to determine the terms and
conditions under which the request can be executed.
Article 7 Limitations on Use
1. The Requesting Party or the authorities of the territory it
represents may not use the information, documents or objects
obtained pursuant to this Agreement for purposes other than
those specified in the request without the previous written
consent of the authorities of the territory represented by
the Requested Party. The authorities of the Requesting Party
shall comply with any conditions imposed in the further use
of the information or evidence.
2. The Requested Party may request that information or evidence
furnished under this Agreement be kept confidential or used
only subject to such terms and conditions it may specify. If
the Requesting Party accepts the information or evidence
subject to such conditions, the relevant authorities of the
territory represented by the Requesting Party shall comply
with the conditions.
3. Nothing in this Article shall preclude the use or disclosure
of information to the extent that there is an obligation to
do so under the Parties' respective laws. The Requesting
Party shall notify the Requested Party in advance of any such
4. Information or evidence that has been made public in the
territory represented by the Requesting Party in accordance
with paragraphs 1, 2 or 3 may thereafter be used for any
Article 8 Testimony or Evidence in the Territory Represented by
the Requested Party
1. A person in the territory represented by the Requested Party
from whom evidence is requested pursuant to this Agreement
may be compelled, if necessary, to appear and testify or
produce items, including documents, records, and articles of
evidence. A person, who gives false testimony or statement,
either orally or in writing, in execution of a request, shall
be subject to prosecution and punishment in the territory
represented by the Requested Party in accordance with the
criminal laws of that territory.
2. Upon request, the Requested Party shall furnish information
in advance about the date and place of the taking of the
testimony or evidence pursuant to this Article.
3. The authorities of the territory represented by the Requested
Party shall permit the presence of such persons as specified
in the request during the execution of the request and shall
allow such persons to pose questions to the person giving the
testimony or evidence and to make a verbatim transcript in a
manner agreed to by the authorities of the territory
represented by the Requested Party.
4. If the person referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article
asserts a claim of immunity, incapacity, or privilege under
the laws of the territory represented by the Requesting
Party, the claim shall be made known to the Requesting Party
for resolution by the authorities of that territory.
5. Evidence produced in the territory represented by the
Requested Party pursuant to this Article or that is the
subject of testimony taken under this Article may be
authenticated in accordance with the Parties' respective
Article 9 Records of the Territories Represented by the Parties
1. The Requested Party shall, upon request, provide the
Requesting Party with copies of publicly available records,
including documents or information in any form, in the
possession of departments and agencies of the authorities of
the territory it represents.
2. The Requested Party may, upon request, provide copies of any
documents, records, or information which are in the
possession of a department or agency of the authorities of
the territory represented by that Party, but which are not
publicly available, to the same extent and under the same
conditions as such copies would be available to the law
enforcement or judicial authorities of the territory
represented by the Requested Party. The Requested Party may
in its discretion deny a request pursuant to this paragraph
entirely or in part.
Article 10 Testimony in the Territory Represented by the
1. When the Requesting Party requests the appearance of a person
in the territory it represents the Requested Party shall
invite the person to appear before the appropriate authority
of the territory represented by the Requesting Party. The
Requesting Party shall indicate the extent to which the
expenses will be paid. The Requested Party shall promptly
inform the Requesting Party of the response of the person.
2. A person who consents to provide assistance pursuant to this
a) shall not be prosecuted, detained, subject to service of
process or of any other restriction of personal liberty in
the territory represented by the Requesting Party for any
acts, omissions or convictions which preceded such person's
entry into the territory represented by the Requesting
b) shall not be obliged to give evidence or assist in any
investigation, prosecution, or proceeding other than that to
which the request relates except with the prior consent of
the authorities of the territory represented by the
Requested Party and such person; and
c) shall not be subject to prosecution based on his testimony
except that such person shall be subject to charges for
contempt or perjury.
3. The person whose presence is requested may decline to comply
with the request if the Requesting Party does not grant such
4. The safe conduct provided for under this Article shall cease
seven (7) days after the Requesting Party has notified the
Requested Party that the person's presence is no longer
required or when the person, having left the territory
represented by the Requesting Party, voluntarily returns. The
Requesting Party may, in its discretion, extend this period
up to fifteen (15) days if it determines that there is good
cause to do so.
5. A person who does not consent to give evidence pursuant to
this Article shall not, by reason thereof, be liable to any
legal penalty or coercive measure by the courts or
authorities of the territory represented by the Requesting or
Article 11 Examining Witness by Video Conference
1. A person within the territory of the Requested Party may give
evidence in proceedings in the Requesting Party by video
2. Where a witness is to be examined by video conference, the
procedures shall be conducted before an appropriate authority
in the Requested Party.
3. The examining shall be supervised by a competent authority of
the Requesting Party and evidence shall be given:
a) in accordance with the domestic law of the Requesting Party
or the Requested Party; and
b) in accordance with any other measures for the protection of
the witness which have been agreed between the Parties.
4. At the examining procedure the appropriate authority of the
Requested Party shall be responsible for:
a) ensuring there is appropriate interpretation of proceedings;
b) establishing the identity of the witness;
c) intervening, where necessary, to safeguard the rights of the
d) drawing up a record of the examining which shall include the
i. the date and place of the hearing;
ii. the identity of the person heard;
iii. the identities and functions of anyone else
participating in the hearing;
iv. details of any oaths taken; and the technical conditions
under which the examining took place; and
e) transmitting the record of the examining as referred to in
this Article as soon as is practicable after the conclusion
of the examining.
Article 12 Location or Identification of Persons or Items
If the Requesting Party seeks the location or identity of
persons or items in the territory represented by the Requested
Party, the authorities of the territory represented by the
Requested Party shall use their best efforts to ascertain the
location or identity of the persons or items.
Article 13 Service of Documents
1. The authorities of the territory represented by the Requested
Party shall use their best efforts to effect service of any
document relating, in whole or in part, to any request for
assistance made by the Requesting Party.
2. The Requesting Party shall transmit any request for the
service of a document requiring the appearance of a person
before an authority in the territory represented by the
Requesting Party within a reasonable time before the
3. The Requested Party shall return a proof of service in the
manner specified in the request.
Article 14 Search and Seizure
1. The Requested Party shall facilitate and assist in the
execution of a request for the search, seizure, and delivery
of any item to the Requesting Party if the request includes
the information justifying such action under the laws of the
territory represented by the Requested Party.
2. The Requested Party shall provide such information as may be
required by the Requesting Party concerning the result of any
search, the place of seizure, the circumstances of seizure
and the subsequent custody of the evidence seized.
3. The Requested Party may require that the Requesting Party
agree to the terms and conditions deemed necessary to protect
third party interests in the item to be transferred.
Article 15 Return of Items
The Requested Party may require the return of the items,
including documents, records, or articles of evidence, furnished
to the Requesting Party in the execution of a request for
assistance under this Agreement.
Article 16 Exchange of Criminal Records
Upon request, the Requested party shall provide the Requesting
party with the past criminal records and information of
sentences, if any, in the territory of the Requested party of
their citizens that are subject of investigation or prosecution
in the territory of the Requesting party.
Article 17 Deportation
Upon request, the Requested Party shall facilitate in the
deportation of the nationals of the Requesting Party who are
involved in crimes perpetrated within the territory of the
Requesting Party in accordance with each Party's domestic laws
and subject to consultation under Article 21 of this Agreement.
Article 18 Restraint, Forfeiture and Confiscation of Property
1. The Parties shall assist each other in proceedings involving
the identification, tracing, restraint, seizure and
confiscation of the proceeds and instruments of crime in
accordance with the domestic laws of the Requested Party.
This may include action to immobilize temporarily the
proceeds or instruments pending further proceedings.
2. In addition to the provisions contained in Article 4 of this
Agreement, a request for assistance in restraint or
confiscation proceedings shall also include:
a) details of the property in relation to which co-operation is
b) the location of the property and its connection with the
subjects of the request;
c) the connection, if any, between the property and the
d) details of any third party interests in the property; or
e) a certified true copy of the restraint or confiscation order
made by the competent authority and statement of the grounds
on the basis of which the order was made, if they are not
indicated in the order itself.
Article 19 Asset Sharing
1. One Party may make a request for asset sharing when its
assistance in accordance with the provisions of this
Agreement has materially led, or is expected to lead, to
2. Subject to each Party's domestic laws, the Requested Party
shall assist in the proceedings before the relevant
authorities in the determination of the proportion of the
assets to be shared in accordance with the extent of the
assistance afforded by the Requesting Party, unless the value
of the realized assets or the assistance rendered by the
Requesting Party is de minimis.
3. In appropriate cases where there are identifiable victims,
consideration of the rights of victims may take precedence
over asset sharing between the Parties. The rights claimed by
bona fide third parties over these assets shall be respected
Article 20 Compatibility with Other Agreement
Assistance and procedures set forth in this Agreement shall not
prevent either Party from granting assistance to the other Party
through the provisions of other applicable MOUs, agreements or
arrangements. The Parties may also provide assistance pursuant
to any arrangement, agreement, or practice which may be
Article 21 Consultation
The Parties shall consult, at times mutually agreed to by them,
to promote the most effective use of this Agreement. The Parties
may also agree on such practical measures as may be necessary to
facilitate the implementation of this Agreement.
Article 22 Effectivity; Termination
1. This Agreement shall become effective on the thirtieth day
after the date of the last notification on the fulfillment by
the Parties of their respective internal procedures. If
either Party gives a termination notice, cooperation and
assistance in accordance with this Agreement will continue
with respect to all requests for assistance that were made,
or information provided, before the effective date of
notification (as indicated in the notice but no earlier than
the date the notice is sent) until the Requesting party
terminates the matter for which assistance was requested. In
the event of the termination of this Agreement, information,
documents or items of evidence obtained under this Agreement
will continue to be treated confidentially in the manner
prescribed under Article 7(2) of this Agreement.
2. Either Party may terminate this Agreement by means of written
notice to the other Party. Termination shall take effect six
(6) months following the date of receipt of such
3. This Agreement applies to any request presented upon its
effectivity even if the relevant offenses occurred before
this Agreement becomes effective.
In WITNESS WHEREOF, the undersigned being duly authorized
thereto, have signed this Agreement.
DONE on this 19th day of April, 2013 in the City of Taipei in
duplicate in the Chinese and English languages, both versions
being equally authentic.
Taipei Economic and Manila Economic and Cultural
Cultural Office in the Office in Taiwan
Raymond L. S. Wang Antonio I. Basilio
Representative Resident Representative
Dr.Wu Chen-huan Richardo V. Paras III
Deputy Minister Chief of State Counsel
Ministry of Justice Department of Justice