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Anti-Terrorism Council designates Arnie Teves, 12 others as terrorists

Anti-Terrorism Council designates Arnie Teves, 12 others as terrorists

The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has designated suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. and 12 others as terrorists, citing several alleged killings and harassment in Negros Oriental.

Approved on July 26, ATC’s Resolution Number 43 tagged as terrorists the following individuals who allegedly violated some provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act:


  • Congressman Arnolfo "Arnie" Alipit Teves, Jr.
  • Pryde Henry A. Teves
  • Marvin H. Miranda
  • Rogelio C. Antipolo
  • Rommel Pattaguan
  • Winrich B. Isturis
  • John Louie Gonyon
  • Daniel Lora
  • Eulogio Gonyon Jr.
  • Tomasino Aledro
  • Nigel Electona
  • Jomarie Catubay
  • Hannah Mae Sumero Oray


The Council said their violations include committing terrorism; planning, training, preparing and facilitating the commission of terrorism; recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization; and providing material support to terrorists.

Teves’ camp, in response, said such a move is no surprise anymore because of the political prosecution against the lawmaker.

"Since Day One of the Degamo killing, the government has mobilized all the resources at its disposal, starting with immediately tagging Mr. Teves as the mastermind thereof without investigation, conducting illegal searches on his properties, laying siege to his powers and prerogatives as member of the House, embarking on a massive media campaign to discredit him and prejudice the minds of the public against him, among others, all in an obsessive attempt to blame him for a crime at the expense of his Constitutional rights,” Teves’ lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, said in a statement.

"The agencies of government, having eggs on their faces due to the recantation of all key witnesses, lack of evidence against Representative Teves, the public backlash against his obvious persecution, and the embarrassing failure of the authorities in bullying him into returning to the country in spite of grave and serious threats to his life, has expectedly weaponized the Anti-Terror Act by using it for the purpose for which it was not designed,” Topacio added.

Topacio cited the Supreme Court ruling in December 2021 which voided Section 4 of the law by stating that terrorism will include advocacy, protest, dissent, stoppage of work, industrial or mass action, and other similar exercises of civil and political rights. 

The same High Court ruling also declared Section 25, which provides that the Anti-Terrorism Council will automatically adopt the United Nations Security Council Consolidated List of designated individuals or groups designated as a terrorist, one who finances terrorism, or a terrorist organization, as unconstitutional.

“It is thus a sad day for the Rule of Law in this country, and a shocking reminder that even under constitutional and republican regime, the return to a government of men and not of laws can always ensue, especially for those targeted for destruction,” Topacio said.

"This development should send shivers down the spine of every citizen, for the liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected,” he added.

Former Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves, meanwhile, said he is planning to appeal the resolution of the ATC.

“My lawyer called me and said that they are studying the law because this is a new law, how we can appeal it ... if it’s appealable, and where to appeal it,” Pryde Henry told Super Radyo dzBB.

“Kailangan kong i-appeal yan dahil (I really need to appeal that because) it will really give me a hard time in making a living,” he added.

The lawyer of the victims of the killings in the province, Atty. Levito Baligod said, “The families of murder victims are hopeful that their quest for justice will conclude with the imprisonment of all responsible.”


Arnie was tagged as the mastermind behind the attack on the late Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on March 4. Degamo and eight others were killed while several others were injured in the attack. The death toll later climbed to 10.

“Prior to the assassination of Gov. Degamo, numerous politically and economically motivated killings were attributed to Cong. Teves, Jr. and his armed group of followers/supporters,” the ATC said.

“However, notwithstanding these numerous killings, the relatives of these victims have remained silent and did not file any criminal complaint against Cong. Teves, Jr. and his group of armed men because of the existing atmosphere of fear and threat prevailing in the province,” it added.

For the ATC, the numerous killings and harassments in Negros Oriental which culminated in the assassination of Degamo should not be considered as isolated and random incidents of violence.

“A closer evaluation of these killings and harassments shows an unmistakable pattern of a rather organized and orchestrated action. These killings and harassments are meticulously and deliberately planned and executed for the purpose of intimidating the residents of Negros Oriental as well as to create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear,” it said.

“These acts are also designed to influence by intimidation the local population and government of Negros Oriental to seriously undermine public safety and to ensure that Cong. Teves, Jr. and his group could continue and expand their reign of terror in the guise of political leadership,” it added.

Teves has denied his alleged involvement in Degamo’s murder.

On July 17, Degamo family's lawyer Atty. Andrei Bon Tagum said the multiple murder complaints on the killing of the late governor have been submitted for resolution.

The camp of Teves and other respondents moved for the dismissal of the complaints against them.

Initially, some of the suspects tagged a certain “Cong. Teves” behind the attack. But 10 of the 11 suspects recanted their earlier testimonies.

Meanwhile, the camp of Marvin Miranda, the 11th suspect and one of the alleged masterminds in the plot, filed a motion to quash the case.

On May 31, the House of Representatives imposed another 60-day suspension without pay on Teves over his continued absence from the chamber on an expired travel authority. Earlier, he was also suspended on March 22 for 60 days.

Teves has yet to return to the Philippines, citing concerns about his safety

‘Fair and impartial legal process’

Meanwhile, Senate national defense committee chairperson Jinggoy Estrada said Teves should be given a “fair and impartial legal process” even after being tagged as a terrorist.

“If evidence supports their involvement in such criminal activities, they should be brought to justice through a fair and impartial legal process. Like those similarly situated, Rep. Teves should be accorded the presumption of innocence until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a competent court,” Estrada said.

Estrada also called on Teves to submit himself to the rule of law and take the opportunity to defend himself, present evidence to clear his name, and have the charges expunged through the appropriate legal procedures.

“It is crucial to ensure that any measures taken by the government to combat terrorism do not infringe upon individuals' fundamental rights and liberties. Striking a balance between security concerns and the protection of human rights is vital in upholding democratic values and the rule of law,” he said. — with Hana Bordey/KG/RSJ, GMA Integrated News