Arnie Teves

Arnie Teves son bribed Timor-Leste police for father’s special treatment – DOJ

Jairo Bolledo

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Arnie Teves son bribed Timor-Leste police for father’s special treatment – DOJ

EX-LAWMAKER. In this file photo, then Negros Oriental 3rd District representative Arnie Teves presides a plenary session as deputy speaker in March 2021.

House press and public affairs bureau

Amid the bribery allegation, the DOJ asks the Timor-Leste government for Teves' immediate deportation

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Thursday, April 18, that a son of former lawmaker Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. allegedly bribed a Timorese official.

The DOJ said Teves’ son allegedly bribed a member of Timor Leste’s Criminal Investigation Police in exchange for giving the former lawmaker special treatment while in detention. The justice department did not provide the name of the former lawmaker’s son involved in the bribery incident.

Teves is under Timor-Leste’s custody after he was arrested for his alleged crimes in the Philippines. He is the suspected mastermind in the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and nine others.

Citing reports, the justice department said Teves’ son offered a $2,000 (around P114,000) bribe “in exchange for ‘security’ inside and outside Becora Prison, where he (Teves) is being held while waiting for his extradition or deportation.”

Amid the bribery allegation, the DOJ has asked the Timor-Leste government for Teves’ immediate deportation.

“Go home and face the court squarely,” DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said. “Let us stop playing hide and seek with the law. One cannot evade accountability for eternity. Prolonging your liabilities with the rule of law only worsens your predicament.”

Teves is in pre-trial detention at Becora Prison following his arrest in March. He was arrested through a collaboration between the International Police’s National Central Bureau in Dili and the Timorese police. He was on the Interpol’s red notice alert.

After the Degamo assassination, Teves refused to return to the country and was later expelled by his colleagues from the House of Representatives. He also tried to apply for political asylum in Timor Leste, but was denied.

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EXPLAINER: What happens to Arnie Teves after arrest in Timor-Leste?

EXPLAINER: What happens to Arnie Teves after arrest in Timor-Leste?

On top of his alleged involvement in the Degamo assassination, the expelled representative of Negros Oriental 3rd District faces a murder charge over three separate killings that happened between March and June 2019 in Negros Oriental. With these, there are at least two standing warrants of arrest against Teves. –

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.