Arnie Teves camp adamant on filing case with UNHRC

Posted by watchmen
March 28, 2024


The camp of former Negros Oriental representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, Jr. defended its possible move to bring his case before the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), saying they are allowed to do so under international law.

“Ang ating bansa ay signatory doon sa UN Declaration of Human Rights, and under international law … ang isang indibidwal as opposed to states ay subject na rin po sa international law,” lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, Teves’ legal counsel, said in an interview on “Unang Balita.”

Topacio said they may bring the alleged persecution of Teves before the UN.

Asked if the UN can compel the Philippine government to take a particular action, Topacio said the UN is “persuasive.”

“Sapagkat tayo nga po ay member-state, pwede po mag-exert ng moral suasion at diplomatic pressure. Pero ang mahalaga po rito ay maipakita po natin na talagang merong violation of human rights,” he said.

In reaction to the possible filing, the Department of Justice said it did not “recognize or acknowledge any camp that refuses to go through our own justice system.”

“The brutal crimes happened here in the Philippines. The families of the victims are here in the Philippines. So, we want justice to be served here in the Philippines,” Justice spokesperson Mico Clavano said in a statement.

Teves is facing multiple murder charges for the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and others at the home of the then-governor on March 4, 2023.

The former lawmaker was out of the country at the time of the attack and never returned following the governor’s death, which he immediately denied.

Teves was arrested in Dili, Timor-Leste last week, while playing golf based on the Interpol red notice issued against him in February.

Topacio, for his part, said they found the agency’s reaction funny.

“Eh paano nila hindi kikilalanin? Hindi naman po sa kanila kami magrereklamo, sa UN,” he said.

He said he was also recently in touch with Teves, who was in “good spirits.”

Aside from the murder of Degamo, Teves and others have also been charged with the deaths of three individuals in Negros Oriental in 2019.

Teves and 12 others have also been designated as terrorists by the Anti-Terrorism Council, citing several alleged killings and harassment in Negros Oriental.

In early February, a Manila court ordered the cancellation of his passport.

He was expelled by the House of Representatives in August last year for disorderly conduct and continued absence despite an expired travel authority. (GMA Integrated News)



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