June 25, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

DOJ says Teves not free ; hits lawyer for misleading claims

THE Department of Justice (DOJ) belied the statement of Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, counsel of fugitive-declared and former Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, Jr. as ‘purely misleading, highly irresponsible and an insult to both countries, Timor Leste and the Philippines.’

This after Atty. Topacio claimed that his client Teves has been provisionally released from Becora Prison in Dili, Timor- Leste pending his extradition trial after the Timor -Leste Court allegedly declared his imprisonment illegal.

The release and subsequent rearrest of the former congressman from prison to the Polícia Nacional of Timor Leste (PNTL) is part of the country’s process. The Department was able to submit all requirements ahead of time and in a manner fully compliant with Timor Leste’s law.

“He ought to know that while he owes fealty to his client, he remains an officer of the court and must act accordingly to maintain its majesty and integrity,” Assistant Secretary and DOJ Spokesperson Jose Dominic F.  Clavano IV reminded.

As an update, the PNTL has taken him into custody to continue to stand trial for his anticipated extradition.

The Department is confident that the extradition proceedings will be successful. In addition, the former congressman may also still be deported depending on the direction taken by the Timor Leste government in coordination with the Philippines.

The Philippines, as the requesting party, must respect and participate in the legal proceedings of Timor Leste underscoring the sovereignty of each country.

“His release and subsequent rearrest should not be taken as hindrance to the process but simply a part of it,” Asec Clavano said.

“We appreciate the steps currently being undertaken by the Timor Leste government to remove him from their territory and we eagerly anticipate his return to the Philippines so he can face the multiple murder charges,” added Clavano.