Teves camp ‘hopeful’ Timor-Leste will grant him political asylum

Posted by watchmen
April 24, 2024


A lawyer for expelled congressman and fugitive Arnolfo Teves, Jr. said yesterday he was “hopeful” that his client would be granted political asylum or refugee status in Timor-Leste, as the Philippine government pushes for his deportation.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio cited the Philippine government’s supposed political persecution of Teves, who faces criminal charges in the country in connection with the murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and nine others in March 2023.

Teves was also designated a “terrorist” by the Anti-Terrorism Council in August 2023. Designation by the council authorizes the Anti-Money Laundering Council to freeze a subject’s assets.

“He is not being prosecuted in the normal process. He is being persecuted with the end view of pinning him down, notwithstanding the constitutional guarantees of the presumption of innocence,” Topacio told ANC.

Teves is in the custody of the Timor-Leste police after authorities there arrested him last month in the capital Dili while he was playing golf.

His extradition to the Philippines is being worked out by the Interpol national central bureaus of Dili and Manila and the Philippine Embassy in Dili.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla last week urged Teves again to return to the Philippines and “face the court squarely.”

“Let us stop playing hide and seek with the law, one cannot evade accountability for eternity,” Remulla said in a statement.

“Prolonging your liabilities with the rule of law only worsens your predicament.” (ABS-CBN News)


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