Safety assured; DOJ ensures Teves’ safety following arrest in Timor-Leste 

Posted by watchmen
March 23, 2024
Posted in HEADLINE
Photo courtesy of Polícia Científica e de Investigação Criminal
Photo courtesy of Polícia Científica e de Investigação Criminal

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has ensured the safety of former Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., following his arrest in Timor-Leste on Thursday, March 21.

“The main priority now is the safety of Mr. Teves, and we just want to make sure that he is here to stand trial, safe and sound,” Justice Undersecretary Mico Clavano said in a press briefing yesterday.

Teves, who was implicated in the murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and nine other individuals in Pamplona town last year, was arrested while playing golf in Timor-Leste’s capital Dili around 4:00 p.m. (local time).

The DOJ said Teves’ arrest was made possible through the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies, including the International Police (Interpol), the National Central Bureau and Timor-Leste police.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said the apprehension of Teves is a testament to the power of international cooperation.

“It sends a clear message that no terrorist can evade justice and that nations stand united in safeguarding the safety and security of their citizens,” Remulla said.

“Face your long-delayed trial without setting any conditions. Face the courts squarely,” he added.

Teves is now under Timorese police custody.

In February, Teves was placed on Interpol’s red notice — a request for law enforcement worldwide to locate and arrest a person pending his extradition, surrender or similar legal action.

Clavano, in a television interview, said the Philippines and Timor-Leste currently do not have any extradition treaty.

They will have to go through other channels for Teves’ return to the Philippines, either by repatriation or deportation, whichever the case may be.

Meanwhile, Degamo’s wife, Pamplona Mayor Janice Vallega Degamo, welcomed the arrest, calling it an “answered prayer.”

“Words cannot express how they feel to finally see the man who terrorized their province and brutally murdered her husband surrounded by police,” Janice said in a social media post.

Teves is facing charges in relation to the Pamplona massacre on March 4, 2023, which killed Governor Degamo and nine other civilians, while he was distributing financial assistance to Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiaries.

The expelled lawmaker was also implicated in three other murder cases in Negros Oriental in 2019.

In August of last year, Teves was designated as a “terrorist” by the country’s Anti-Terrorism Council.

He has already denied the allegations thrown against him./DGB, WDJ


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