Remulla to ask Timor-Leste for Teves

Daphne Galvez - The Philippine Star
Remulla to ask Timor-Leste for Teves
former Negros Oriental representative Arnolfo Teves Jr.
Facebook / Congressman A. Teves

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla will sign this week a letter asking the government of Timor-Leste to turn over expelled Negros Oriental congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr., who is facing several murder charges and has been designated as a terrorist in the Philippines.

Remulla said he would sign the letter for Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta when he returns from Brunei on Thursday.

Early this month, Remulla met with Ramos-Horta and discussed with him the possibility of the rendition of Teves to the Philippines.

Remulla cited a United Nations agreement, which states that UN member-states are “duty-bound to render a terrorist to a prosecuting country, where a trial will be conducted.”

Rendition, an alternative to the normal extradition procedure, is carried out when a suspected person is forcibly seized in another state and can only be done when there is an outstanding arrest warrant.

Ramos-Horta told Remulla that he would wait for the Philippines’ formal request on the matter.

Teves is facing multiple murder charges, including the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo. He has been designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council.

A court in Bayawan, Negros Oriental ordered Teves and five others arrested for their alleged involvement in the killings that took place in the province in 2019.

A Manila court also issued a warrant for Teves’ arrest in connection with the murder of Degamo and nine other persons at the governor’s residence in Pamplona, Negros Oriental in March.

Teves is believed to be seeking asylum in Timor-Leste, where he and former senator Manny Pacquiao had a chance encounter in September, according to the justice department.

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