MANILA — Timor-Leste has denied the asylum request of Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr., the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Tuesday night.
"Today, the Ministry of Interior of Timor-Leste confirmed that Representative Teves' application for political asylum has been denied," the DFA said in a statement.
"In accordance with the decision of the Timor-Leste Government, Representative Teves has been granted a period of five (5) days to depart Timor-Leste. During this time, he also has the option to file an appeal regarding the decision," it said.
Teves entered Timor-Leste about a week ago in an attempt to secure special asylum status, according to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, citing information from the DFA and the Philippine Ambassador to Timor-Leste.
The Department of Justice, through the DFA, had informed Timor-Leste that Teves is a person of interest in murder cases and is being considered for designation as a terrorist, Remulla explained earlier on Tuesday.
Teves is accused as one of the possible masterminds in the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and several others. He has denied these allegations, saying that he and his clan had nothing to do with the assassination.
The Department of Justice in late April moved to label Teves as a terrorist over his refusal to return to the Philippines due to alleged threats to his life. — With a report from Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News