Abalos welcomes passport cancellation order vs Teves

Abalos welcomes passport cancellation order vs Teves
File photo

DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos welcomed the order of a Manila court on Saturday, February 10, 2024, for the cancellation of the passport of former Negros Oriental representative Arnolfo "Arnie'"Teves Jr., who has been implicated in the brazen murder of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo in March 2023.

In an interview with reporters, Abalos said the court’s order only indicates that no one can be spared from justice.

“Well, ganito lang ‘yan. ‘Yung tungkol sa pagkansela ng passport ni Mr. Teves, tandaan niyo ito, walang makakaligtas sa hustisya,” Abalos said.

(Well, it's just like this. Regarding the cancellation of Mr. Teves' passport, remember this, no one will escape justice.)

“Tandaan niyo ‘yan, sooner or later maski saan ka magtago hahanapin ka ng batas at mananagot ka sa mga kasalanan mo at yan ang sinasabi sa ating mga kababayan,” he added.

(Remember that, sooner or later, no matter where you hide, the law will find you and you will be held accountable for your sins, and that's what we're telling our fellow countrymen.)

The court’s order was directed to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

In its 14-page order, the Manila Regional Trial Court also instructed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to bring back Teves whom it tagged as a “fugitive” back to the Philippines through proper procedures.

“Further, his right to travel can be impaired as his case involves public safety per the findings/ designation of the Anti-Terror Council. His actions as well as his group indeed created fear and intimidation of the local population and government of Negros Oriental undermining public safety,” the order reads.

“Thus, there exists basis or grounds for the Department of Foreign Affairs to cancel accused Teves, Jr.’s passport. Accused Arnolfo Teves, Jr. is not entitled to relief from the court,” it added.

The court also noted Teves' failure to return to the country despite the expiration of his travel authority, the issuance of arrest warrant against him and his designation by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) as terrorist.

“In the normal course of events, after the issuance of a warrant of arrest, an accused is either arrested or voluntarily surrenders. In either case, an accused eager to prove or assert his innocence longs for the wheels of justice to move,” it said.

“Not in this case. Accused Teves, Jr. in utter disrespect of the court and willful disregard of the law, refuses to yield. By his refusal to come back to face his cases and his consistent flight mode, he deliberately continues to frustrate the ends of justice,” it added.

In a statement, Teves’ legal counsel Attorney Ferdinand Topacio said they will resort to all legal remedies to have the court reverse its decision.

“There is still an entire slew of legal remedies available to us in order to reverse the same, and we fully intend to resort to all of them,” he said.

Degamo’s killing on March 4, 2023 also resulted in the death of 11 other innocent individuals.

Teves, who was being pointed to as the mastermind behind Degamo’s killing, was out of the country when Degamo was executed.

He repeatedly denied accusations linking him to Degamo’s death, and he also refused to return to the country despite calls from government officials, including President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. himself.

Teves claimed there is a serious threat against his and his family’s lives.

Several suspects who allegedly directly participated in Degamo’s killing were arrested by the police including Teves’ reported close aide, Marvin Halaman.

Some of them initially implicated Teves in the killing, but they later recanted their statements. (SunStar Philippines)


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.