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Warrant of arrest out for Arnie Teves et al over Degamo slay

A Manila court has issued a warrant of arrest against expelled Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. and others over the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

In a six-page order, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 51 issued an e-warrant of arrest against Teves, Angelo Palagtiw, a certain “Gie Ann” or “Jie An,” and Captain Lloyd Cruz Garcia II.

The court also issued a commitment order on the transfer of Nigel Electona from the Manila City Jail to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.

Meanwhile, it reset the arraignment and pre-trial conference to October 4. 

Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Teves' legal counsel, and Atty. Paris Real, the legal counsel for Garcia, said they have yet to receive an official copy of the order.

Real said they may file a motion to quash the warrant of arrest once they receive the order. Topacio, meanwhile, said they were reserving their comment until they got a copy.

In late August, the Department of Justice announced that charges of murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder were filed against the accused. 

Degamo and five others were killed when armed men fired shots while the official was distributing aid at his residence in Pamplona, Negros Oriental on March 4.

Teves has denied that he and his brother Henry were involved in Degamo's killing.

“Kung may balak man ako o may kakayahan na gawin ito eh di sana ginawa ko na ito bago pa mag eleksyon. Anong motibo kung ngayon gagawin hindi ba? Kung mawala ang gobernadora ang uupo naman ang vice governor,” said the Congressman on Facebook.

(If we had the motive and the capability to do this, we should’ve done this before the election. Why would we do it now? If the governor dies, the vice-governor will take reign.)

TIMELINE: Degamo killing and murder raps vs. Arnie Teves

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla has said that the Department of Justice would write to the United Nations once an arrest warrant has been issued against Teves.

“We will have to write the United Nations to inform them of this. The designated terrorist now have murder cases and they should stand for trial in our country,” Remulla told reporters.

“And that we are asking them to ask the member states of the UN to acknowledge their duty of rendition so to bring back Teves to the Philippines for trial,” he added.

Remulla said he believed Teves was going back and forth between Timor-Leste, where he previously sought asylum, Cambodia, and Thailand.

The Anti-Terrorism Council has designated Teves and 12 others as terrorists, citing several alleged killings and harassment in Negros Oriental.

Aside from the murder of Degamo and others, the former lawmaker and others have also been charged with the deaths of three individuals in Negros Oriental in 2019.

The House of Representatives in mid-August voted to expel Teves for disorderly conduct and his continued absence despite an expired travel authority.

The House plenary's decision stemmed from the recommendation made by the House Committee on Ethics chaired by Coop-NATCCO party-list Representative Felimon Espares.

“The prolonged unauthorized absence of Rep. A. Teves Jr. deprives the 3rd District of Negros Oriental of proper representation and undermines the efficiency of the legislative process," the committee report read. —NB/VBL, GMA Integrated News