Remulla to Teves: Stop stalling and face reality

Remulla to Teves: Stop stalling and face reality

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla (left) and expelled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. —Inquirer files

MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday told fugitive and expelled lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr., who is currently under the custody of a Timor-Leste court, to quit “dilly-dallying” and answer the charges filed against him in court.

“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 [lawyer Ferdinand] Topacio and his client should face,” Remulla said in a statement.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) chief issued this in response to a circulating letter allegedly from Teves seeking the intervention of the United Nations, Amnesty International and other human rights groups, claiming he was being unjustly persecuted and falsely accused.

READ: Degamo widow calls Teves’ alleged release a ‘media stunt’

According to Remulla, the government has already guaranteed the protection of the former Negros Oriental representative, who is evading legal proceedings in the Philippines for multiple charges, including murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder.

He is accused of being the mastermind in the assassination of his political rival, former provincial Gov. Roel Degamo, and nine other individuals in Pamplona town on March 4, 2023.

Proof of threat

“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,” Remulla told Topacio.

Teves was arrested by authorities on March 21 while playing golf in Timor-Leste based on a red alert notice issued by the International Criminal Police Organization.

Topacio said on Tuesday that his client was not rearrested but only placed under the custody of the Timorese court in preparation for extradition proceedings after he was briefly released on Monday from preventive detention at the Becora Prison in Dili, Timor-Leste.