May 22, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

Lawyer says Teves is not a fugitive

By Justine Rich Talusan

LAWYER Ferdinand Topacio, counsel for Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., said his client is not a fugitive.

Teves camp has expressed their objections to the “fugitive” label placed upon him. 

“What is he fleeing from? There’s nothing yet,” the lawyer said.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla told ABS-CBN Headstart that Teves is now considered a fugitive since the lawmaker refused to come back to the country to face possible murder charges related to the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others. 

 The DOJ head earlier said Teves is “being considered” one of the masterminds behind the killings.

However, Topacio believes that Remulla’s characterization of his client is premature and intended to demonize him.

Topacio said Teves has no cause to flee because he has not been indicted for any criminal offense, including the murder of Degamo. 

 The Negros solon has continuously denied any involvement in the March 4 assassination of Degamo.

 Teves is in the United States for stem cell therapy. He recently requested a two-month leave of absence from Congress, citing a “very grave security threat to his life and his family.”