MANILA (AFP) — The Philippines has not received an asylum request from former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra after his visa was revoked by the British government, a foreign department official said Monday.
Thai newspapers have been reporting that Thaksin may be heading to Manila, where his brother-in-law, incumbent Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, was scheduled to visit Monday.
"It's unlikely that Thaksin will seek asylum in the Philippines. The DFA (foreign department) has not received a request," a senior department official told reporters.
He said that if a request were filed by Thaksin, the justice department would be unlikely to approve it. He declined to elaborate.
Somchai was due to meet President Gloria Arroyo later Monday for a bilateral meeting focusing on ways to limit the impact of the global financial crisis in the region.
The one-day trip would also include talks on boosting two-way trade as well as military and energy cooperation.
Thaksin was last month sentenced in absentia to two years in jail for conflict of interest after helping his wife buy state-owned land when he was prime minister.
Arroyo's office said she would meet Somchai to discuss "the international financial crisis and its impact on the region."
The Thai leader was also expected to formally invite Arroyo to the annual Southeast Asian summit to be held in Chiang Mai in December.
The Philippines and Thailand established diplomatic relations in 1949, and are both key players in the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Thailand is also a key source of rice, the Philippines' staple food.
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