Department of Justice

Interpol’s Red Notice out vs fugitive Arnie Teves – DOJ

Jairo Bolledo

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Interpol’s Red Notice out vs fugitive Arnie Teves – DOJ

LAWMAKER. File photo of Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnie Teves presiding as deputy speaker in March 2021.

House press and public affairs bureau

According to Interpol, 'a Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action'

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines’ Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed that the Interpol had issued a Red Notice against former Negros Oriental lawmaker Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr.

“At least the Interpol has already issued the Red Notice, which means that all the members of the Interpol, all the countries which are members of the Interpol, are put on notice that that person should be arrested,” DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said in a press briefing on Wednesday, February 28.

Ferdinand Topacio, Teves’ legal counsel, said they already anticipated the issuance of the notice. “First of all, we expected that. Number two, well, the government has to do what is has to do. Secretary Remulla has to do his duty. Like what I’ve said, we do not begrudge the government for that,” he said in a mix of English and Filipino.

The Interpol is an intergovernmental organization that issues notices based on international requests that will allow police forces in member states to share crime-related information. Upon the request of a country, the Interpol’s general secretariat may issue appropriate notices.

According to the Interpol, “a Red Notice is a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action. It is based on an arrest warrant or court order issued by the judicial authorities in the requesting country. Member countries apply their own laws in deciding whether to arrest a person.”

Although Red Notice is considered an “international warrant,” the Interpol cannot compel law enforcement agents in a specific country to arrest a subject based on the said notice. Each member-state has independence on how it will value the Red Notice and how its officers will enforce arrests, the Interpol said.

Teves, the expelled representative of Negros Oriental 3rd District, was the alleged mastermind behind the assassination of then-Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo in March 2023. He also faces another murder charge over three separate killings that happened between March and June 2019 in Negros Oriental. 

With these alleged crimes, there are at least two standing warrants of arrest against the former lawmaker.

On February 2, the DOJ said two alert list orders were issued through the Bureau of Immigration to restrict the movement Teves and facilitate his arrest through cooperation from other countries. Before the Red Notice, a Blue Notice – used “to locate, identify, or obtain information on a person of interest in a criminal investigation” – was issued against Teves.

A Manila court also recently canceled the passport of the fugitive former lawmaker.

Teves has been out of the country since February 2023, and refused to return after being linked to Degamo’s killing. In May 2023, the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed that Teves sought asylum in Timor Leste, but the request was denied.

Teves also failed to physically show up during session days at the House of Representatives. Later on, the legislative’s lower chamber voted to expel him. The Philippines’ anti-terror council also designated Teves as a terrorist. –

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Jairo Bolledo

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