DOJ: Teves has 30 days to appeal extradition

Posted by watchmen
June 29, 2024
Posted in News



The Department of Justice (DOJ) said former Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo Teves, Jr. has 30 days to appeal the decision of the Timor-Leste Court of Appeals to extradite him to the Philippines to face trial for the murder of Governor Roel Degamo and nine others.

“We are very confident that the same decision will be rendered and the motion for reconsideration or the appeal will be denied in due course by the Timor-Leste judicial authorities,” said DOJ Undersecretary Raul Vasquez.

The DOJ also stressed that aside from the favorable decision on the extradition request of the Philippine government, Teves may also be arrested by Timor-Leste authorities.

“Because that person, subject of the extradition, is already an undocumented alien from the point of view of Timor-Leste officials. Why? Because the Philippines had already cancelled his passport,” Vasquez said.


Teves’ lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, meantime, said that they will file an appeal within 30 days after they were notified of the decision on Thursday, June 27.

“Well, of course, he is disappointed because we felt we had good arguments para ma-deny ‘yung extradition but, you know, this is in the usual course of the legal process,” Topacio said.

Asked about the arguments they will be presenting to the court, Topacio said he is still waiting for the translated decision, which is in Portuguese.

“So ipapa-Google translate ko sapagka’t ‘di naman po tayo marunong mag-Portuguese. So until that comes and until I confer with my counterparts in Timor-Leste, hindi ko pa po masasabi,” Topacio said.

Meantime, Pamplona, Negros Oriental Mayor Janice Degamo expressed hopes that Teves will be brought back to the country as soon as possible.

“Napakaganda ng timing kung maiuwi talaga kaagad siya because nagsisimula na rin po ‘yung murder trial. Talagang maihahabol natin at magri-request pa tayo ng marathon hearing,” Degamo said.

“Very ano kami hopeful and positive kami na it will be the beginning of what we’ve dreamed of, what we desire to have para sa mga loved ones namin na pinaslang nila at mapapanagot talaga sila,” Degamo added.

Topacio, however, noted that even if the decision to extradite Teves becomes final, they still have a pending political asylum proceedings in Timor-Leste.

“Ang ibig sabihin, habang hindi pa po na-deny with finality ‘yung request for political asylum, hindi pa po pwedeng i-extradite si Congressman Teves,” Topacio said.

The DOJ, however, said the asylum matter has already been decided by the Timor-Leste government with finality.

“Iyong political asylum was first recourse that was availed of by former Congressman Arnie Teves, was denied. They filed a motion for reconsideration. This was denied as well. So to our minds, as lawyers, that is the end of the rope on that particular aspect,” Vasquez said. (ABS-CBN News)

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