Timor-Leste OKs Teves extradition to PH | Global News

Timor-Leste OKs Teves extradition to PH

/ 05:34 AM June 28, 2024

Timor-Leste OKs Teves extradition to PH

Former Rep. Arnoldo Teves with lawyer Ferdinand Topacio. His lawyer said Teves was released from preventive detention in Becora Prison in Dili, Timor Leste. (Photo from Atty. Ferdinand Topacio)

The Court of Appeals in Timor-Leste has granted the Philippine government’s request to extradite former lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr., who is facing a murder trial over the killing of a political rival last year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Thursday night.

“The information was relayed to us by the Attorney General of Timor-Leste. We have won,” Justice Assistant Secretary Jose Dominic Clavano IV said in a message to reporters.


“We look forward to the arrival of Mr. Teves so that he may finally face the charges against him in our local courts,” Clavano added.


READ: Teves to face charges in PH, assures Marcos

The former congressman of Negros Oriental, who has so far evaded legal proceedings in the Philippines where he faces multiple charges, including murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder, was arrested by authorities on March 21 while playing golf in Dili, the Timor-Leste capital.

An Interpol red notice issued against him in February launched the manhunt that led to his arrest.

9 other victims

Clavano did not immediately respond to queries regarding the expected date of Teves’ return to the Philippines.

Teves has been tagged as the mastermind in the assassination of a political rival, Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, on March 4, 2023. The daytime attack carried out by an armed group killed nine other people at the Degamo residence in Pamplona town.

Later expelled by the House of Representatives, Teves was also designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council for his alleged link to other killings and incidents of harassment in Negros Oriental.


In February this year, the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) ordered the cancellation of his passport.

House arrest

When arrested in Dili, Teves was initially placed in the custody of the Timorese police while the legal proceedings of his extradition were in progress.

He was placed under house arrest earlier this month, then released—while still under strict monitoring—on June 21.

On Wednesday, his trial for multiple murder opened at the Manila RTC Branch 51, with the prosecution presenting their first witness.

READ: DOJ seeks speedy Teves return, but delay seen

Before the trial proper, three of his co-accused, Marvin Miranda and siblings Angelo and Jay Ann Palagtiw, were arraigned.

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They did not enter a plea, prompting the court to enter a “not guilty” plea on their behalf.

Miranda, a longtime bodyguard of Teves, has been accused of being one of the main conspirators in the Degamo killing—a “vital link” that could connect the former lawmaker to the plot.

TAGS: Arnolfo Teves, Arnolfo Teves Jr., Timor Leste

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