Teves in ‘custody,’ not detained — counsel

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Teves in �custody,� not detained � counsel
This photo shows the "re-arrest" of expelled lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. in Timor-Leste.
Released / Department of Justice

MANILA, Philippines — Expelled lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. was put under “court custody” and was not re-arrested after his “provisional release,” according to lawyer Ferdinand Topacio.

Topacio revealed this information a day after his client was released due to “missteps” in the Philippine government’s request to extradite the expelled lawmaker, which the Department of Justice called as part of the due process of the Timor-Leste government.

According to Topacio, Teves is only in a holding area and not a prison for he was not “re-arrested.”

“He was not re-arrested for any crime. He was not re-arrested because of crimes he allegedly committed in the Philippines, but because of the extradition process, which is a special civil procedure,” Topacio said in an online press briefing with reporters on Tuesday.

Topacio also revealed that Teves was released for a “considerable amount of time” before he was taken back into custody. 

“Nakadaan pa kami sa chapel para manalangin, at nakapunta pa kami sa kanyang residence at para imeet 'yung kanyang mga kaanak,” Topacio said. 

(We were able to stop by the chapel to pray, and we also went to his residence to meet his relatives.)

Teves’ counsel also said that he and other individuals are testifying for Teves at Timor-Leste’s Tribunal de Recurso or the country’s Court of Appeals (CA), where Teves’ extradition case will be heard.

Aside from him, Topacio said that other people testifying for Teves include former Human Rights Commissioner Wilhelm Soriano and former presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo.

Teves' case advanced to Timor-Leste's Court of Appeals on May 30 after passing the initial review by the country's Ministry of Justice.

According to the DOJ, a decision on the case is be expected on or before June 20, 2024. 

In a separate statement, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla lauded Timor-Leste for re-apprehending Teves.

“We extend our deepest gratitude to the government of Timor Leste for their unwavering cooperation. This rearrest underscores the robust partnership between our nations and our collective commitment to eradicating impunity, regardless of one's social status or influence,” Remulla’s statement read.

"We assure the public and the international community that all legal procedures will be strictly adhered to, and Mr. Teves' human rights will be respected throughout this process," he added.

Teves is facing multiple criminal charges related to the attack that led to the death of former Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo in March 2023. 

The embattled lawmaker is also facing several other charges related to a series of killings in 2019.

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