Teves lawyer optimistic of Timor-Leste political asylum

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Teves lawyer optimistic of Timor-Leste political asylum
This photo shows a picture of expelled lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. being arrested by Timor-Leste law enforcement in Dili, East Timor.
Polícia Científica e de Investigação Criminal / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Expelled Negros Oriental congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr.’s lawyer is optimistic that their application for political asylum in Timor-Leste will be granted and Teves will no longer be extradited or deported back to the Philippines.

“He is not being prosecuted (here) 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,” Ferdinand Topacio yesterday told ANC.

Topacio insisted Teves is a victim of “political persecution” by the Philippine government.

While playing golf, Teves was arrested last month by Timor-Leste police based on a red notice or warrant issued by Interpol, which hunted him for the March 2023 murder of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, along with nine others.

Teves, who had been in hiding since March 2023 shortly after he went to the US for a vacation sanctioned by Speaker Martin Romualdez, has been designated a “terrorist” by the Anti-Terrorism Council in August 2023 after he was expelled from the House of Representatives.

It was a legal strategy to freeze all of Teves’ assets, undertaken by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Teves’ extradition to Manila is being worked out by the Department of Foreign Affairs through the Philippine embassy in Dili, while another route is also being undertaken by the Interpol national central bureaus in Dili.

Last week, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla called on Teves to return to the country immediately and “face the court squarely.”

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with