DOJ begins process of tagging Teves as a terrorist

Johnson Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 26 2023 06:46 PM

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla (left) and embattled Negros Oriental Third District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. (right) ABS-CBN News/file
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla (left) and embattled Negros Oriental Third District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. (right) ABS-CBN News/file

MANILA — The Department of Justice on Wednesday began the process of labeling suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. as a terrorist over his alleged involvement in the assassination of Governor Roel Degamo.
Remulla told reporters at the DOJ headquarters in Manila that the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) met Wednesday morning to discuss the matter.

He also said a technical working group had been formed to recommend to the ATC to tag Teves as a terrorist.

"I just made a case out of it… I told them why and I told them what provisions of law under Section 25 of the law in relation to Section 4(a) of the law and other provisions of the Anti-Terror Act," Remulla said.

The technical working group will then propose the terrorist tag to the ATC during its next meeting.

Once the ATC approves to label the embattled lawmaker as a terrorist, law enforcement agencies of other countries may apprehend him, provided they are member states of the United Nations (UN).

The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) may also opt to freeze Teves' assets, Remulla said.

When asked about Teves' current location, the justice secretary said the government has the means to track the suspended congressman down.

“We can find out if it was very urgent but we’re not too hot on it yet. But we can find out,” sabi ni Remulla.

As of writing, Teves remains abroad after earlier expressing reluctance in returning to the Philippines due to alleged threats to his life.

This, despite calls from his own family to return home and assurances from President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of his safety upon arrival.

Remulla earlier said Teves was in Cambodia.

'Criminal organization'

The justice secretary also called the Teves camp as a "criminal organization."

Aside from Teves, three to four of his alleged cohorts are also being eyed to be designated as terrorists. 

Among them is the suspended lawmaker's former bodyguard and ex-Army reservist Marvin Miranda, who Remulla had described as the "casting director" in the Degamo slay.

Remulla also maintained that his bid to tag Teves as a terrorist has basis, as Degamo's assassination may be considered a form of terrorism.

“Meron kasing napakasimpleng paliwanag dito… Gov. Degamo is the highest locally elected official in [the entire] Negros Oriental. And for the person to be killed in his own home by a group of professional soldiers and of course recorded for posterity by the CCTV system, it shows how brazen the crime was," he said.

(There's a simple explanation here.)

"If a person with a rank of governor can get killed in his own home because of forces like this, then who will not be terrorized by such an action?" he added.


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