Teves' quick deportation from Timor-Leste a 'balderdash' – lawyer

Teves’ quick deportation from Timor-Leste just ‘balderdash’ – lawyer

/ 08:55 PM March 30, 2024

Teves' quick deportation from Timor-Leste just 'balderdash' – lawyer


MANILA, Philippines — Expelled lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr.’s lawyer said the Philippine government’s claim that the ex-congressman would be promptly repatriated from Timor-Leste was “pure and unadulterated balderdash (nonsense).”

Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said in a message to reporters that his discussions with Teves’ legal team in Timor-Leste indicated that Timorese authorities did not find any evidence of Teves being implicated in terrorism or terrorist acts, nor did he violate any Timorese laws.


According to the lawyer, his client’s detention in Timor-Leste was just “in compliance with procedural matters relating to the country’s membership in the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol).”


READ: Teves arrested while golfing in Timor-Leste

“I was also able to confer intensively and extensively with the legal team in [Timor-Leste], after which I gained a more profound understanding of Timorese laws as applicable to the case of Mr . Teves,” Topacio said.

“[A]nd I am now able to say with greater confidence that all that previous talk from the [National Bureau of Investigation] and the [Department of Justice] of deportation and swift repatriation are nothing but pure and unadulterated balderdash.”

Topacio said that Timor-Leste intelligence officers monitored the movements of the former Negros Oriental congressman, “but they ‘found no evidence of any activity related to terrorism, or any illegal activity at all, and nor was he in hiding’.”

READ: Teves seeks political asylum after arrest in Timor-Leste, says lawyer

“I have also confirmed that Rep. Teves has not violated any laws while in [Timor-Leste] and that his detention was merely in compliance with procedural matters relating to [Timor-Leste]’s InterPol membership,” he added.


Topacio further said Teves can be visited by whoever he permits to see him upon the approval of Timorese authorities.

On March 21, members of the Interpol arrested Teves while golfing in Timor-Leste. He has been detained in that country since.

Teves was being tagged as a mastermind in the killing of Roel Degamo, a governor of Negros Oriental, and nine others in March 2023.

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INQUIRER.net has reached to the Philippine justice department for a comment on Topacio’s statements, but has yet to receive any response as of writing.

TAGS: Arnolfo Teves Jr., Timor Leste

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