Teves taps human rights groups, Pope Francis over 'persecution, false accusations'

DUMAGUETE. Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr.
DUMAGUETE. Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. Photo from Teves' Facebook page

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

EXPELLED Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. has written an open letter seeking the intervention of the United Nations, Amnesty International, other human rights groups, and Pope Francis, claiming he was politically persecuted, charged with false accusations, and presumed guilty before trial.

In a statement, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said that the actions by Teves and his camp, as well as his claims, are "imaginary and delaying tactics."

“Instead of dilly-dallying things, Teves should just face the court of law and answer the charges fair and square,” he said.

“Teves is a designated terrorist and fugitive from justice, he is also facing grave charges such as multiple murder, and all of that is a reality Topacio and his client should face. Until then, we cannot recognize anything they say unless they present themselves in court,” Remulla added.

Remulla reiterated the Philippine government’s commitment to ensuring Teves’ security upon his arrival in the country.

"Prove us wrong that you are not merely employing tactics intended to delay or circumvent the Rule of Law by presenting 'real' and 'existing' proof that Teves' life is in danger, otherwise, submit yourselves to Philippine jurisdiction, time is of the essence knowing that there are victims crying for justice," Remulla further stated.

He also urged Teves’ legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio to act accordingly and avoid making baseless pronouncements, which malign the integrity of the Philippine justice system.

Teves was tagged as the brains behind the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo in March 2023.

He also has a standing arrest warrant for the killing of several individuals in the province since 2019.

Teves was also designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council and his passport was also canceled on the orders of the DOJ.

He was arrested in Timor Leste on March 21, a month after he was placed on the red notice of the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) upon the request of the DOJ. (TPM/SunStar Philippines)

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