Teves camp slams DOJ's plan to cancel his passport


Posted at May 11 2023 12:32 PM

Courtesy of ABS-CBN News/File; Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News
Courtesy of ABS-CBN News/File; Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The camp of Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. on Thursday slammed the Department of Justice over its plan to cancel his passport.

According to lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, legal counsel of the suspended lawmaker, there is no basis for the cancellation of Teves' passport at this time.

"There are only 3 instances when you can cancel a passport. If he's a fugitive from justice, if he's been convicted by final judgment, or if the passport is fraudulently acquired. Now, he cannot be considered a fugitive from justice, aside from the fact the secretary of justice cannot seems to make up his mind whether my client is a fugitive or not," he told ANC's "Headstart".

Topacio also questioned claims his client is resisting legal processes.

"We have been participating in all the legal processes that we have been allowed to participate in," he said.

"In fact, there are some legal processes like the proceedings before the [House] Committee of Ethics where we were barred from participating or in the Senate."

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said the DOJ would seek the cancellation of Teves' passport once a criminal case is filed against him in court.

He has said Teves is allegedly using 2 passports — a diplomatic and a regular passport both issued by the Philippine government — and has supposedly tried to secure a “golden passport” to enter other countries visa-free.

The cancellation of Teves’ passports could make travelling difficult for him.

Teves is accused of masterminding the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and several others, which the lawmaker denied. 

He is currently in Timor-Leste reportedly seeking asylum but the Department of Foreign Affairs announced Tuesday night that his application had been denied.

The Interpol has also issued a blue notice against Teves, which means the Philippines could gain more information on his whereabouts.

Eleven individuals have been charged in court for multiple murder, frustrated and attempted murder in connection with the Degamo killing but no complaint with the DOJ nor cases in court have been filed yet against Teves.

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