Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Thursday said suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. has asked Timor-Leste to reconsider its denial of his request for asylum.
“Nasa Timor-Leste pa rin, asking for reconsideration,” Remulla said in an ambush interview.
When asked if the Philippine government will oppose the appeal, the Justice Secretary said they already wrote a letter.
According to Remulla, he received the information through a text message from the Philippine Embassy.
Remulla on Tuesday revealed that the Philippine Ambassador to Timor-Leste informed them that Teves is in Dili, where he applied for a protection visa with the intent of asylum.
The same day, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) announced that the Ministry of Interior of Timor-Leste confirmed that Teves’ application was denied. It said Teves was granted five days to either leave the country or file an appeal.
Remulla said Teves was also trying to seek refuge in Cambodia.
The Justice Secretary, however, said he told the Cambodian ambassador that Teves is a person of interest in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
“Nung una naming nalaman na [When we first found out that] he was trying to seek refuge in Cambodia, we also said the same thing to the Cambodian ambassador. We told them it’s a local case, it’s a celebrated case,” he said.
Remulla had said that Teves appears to be the main mastermind in the March 4 shooting at the governor’s home that led to the death of 10 people and the injuries of several others.
Teves, who has yet to return to the country due to fears for his safety, has repeatedly denied involvement in the killing. — BM, GMA Integrated News