Roel Degamo

Arnie Teves arrested in Timor-Leste

Dwight de Leon

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Arnie Teves arrested in Timor-Leste

LAWMAKER. Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. in 2021.

House of Representatives

(1st UPDATE) Malacañang says Arnie Teves' extradition to the Philippines is being arranged

MANILA, Philippines – Authorities in Timor-Leste have arrested former congressman Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., the alleged mastermind in the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo last year.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Teves was nabbed in Timor-Leste’s capital Dili at 4 pm on Thursday, March 21, while playing golf.

Since late February, Teves has been the subject of an Interpol Red Notice, which is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and arrest a person pending extradition or surrender.

A press release from the Presidential Communications Office said his extradition to the Philippines is being worked out.

“The capture of Teves only proves that through concerted efforts and determination, terrorism can be thwarted and peace preserved,” said DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla.

A day after the arrest, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the government would “take all necessary actions” to bring Teves back to the Philippines, where he could face charges filed against him.

“I assure the Filipino people that we will spare no effort in ensuring that justice will prevail in this case,” the President said in a statement on Friday, March 22.

Teves has been in hiding since allegations emerged that he is behind the broad-daylight killing of Degamo on March 4, 2023. He is facing multiple murder charges in relation to that assassination.

Arnie Teves arrested in Timor-Leste

Teves left the country after getting a travel clearance for medical reasons from the House of Representatives on February 28, 2023.

When his clearance expired, he refused to return to the Philippines, despite repeated pleas from House Speaker Martin Romualdez and even President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

He was twice suspended by the House for disorderly behavior, until he was finally expelled from the chamber in August, a historic first for Congress.

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The Philippine government also declared him a terrorist in August 2023.

Teves has repeatedly insisted that all allegations against him are false. He said he cannot come home because his life would be in danger.

He denied orchestrating the killing of Degamo, and denied leading a terrorist group in the island of Negros. –

1 comment

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  1. ET

    I appreciate the effort of the Department of Justice through its Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla. If Pastor Quiboloy is already in Timor-Leste, he better plan where to go next or at least not play golf (with his golden equipment) to avoid detection.

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.