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Marcos, Timor Leste PM may tackle Teves' asylum —Romualdez

LABUAN BAJO - Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said it is very probable that the denial of the political asylum of suspended lawmaker Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves could be discussed during the bilateral talks of President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Timor Leste's Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak on Thursday.

"Very possible, very probable," Romualdez told reporters when asked by reporters if the matter will be tackled by the two leaders.

Romualdez said he has no idea if Marcos will ask the Timor Leste's leader to "produce" Teves.

"I don't know if he will ask to produce him because he was already in Timor Leste, we're aware of that. With the denial, there is also a five-day period within which he should leave the country," Romualdez said.

He also said the President did not impose any ultimatum on Teves as he wants the process to be followed on this matter.

"Wala naman, he knows naman there's processes and the President naman would like these processes and protocols be observed," the House leader said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs earlier announced that Timor Leste denied Teves’ request for political asylum.

The embattled lawmaker has been tagged as the apparent mastermind behind the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and nine others by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.

Romualdez urged Teves to just come home and face the allegation against him.

"Pero, kung ako si Congressman Arnie Teves, umuwi ka na kasi alam na ng lahat na may mga alegasyon, harapin mo na lang," Romualdez said.

Earlier, Romualdez warned that his continued absence in the Lower House could result in "additional sanctions."

He discouraged the suspended lawmaker to seek refuge in another country and abandon his sworn duty to serve as member of the House of Representatives.—LDF, GMA Integrated News