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Teves movement in Timor-Leste still restricted – DOJ

MANILA, Philippines — Expelled Negros Oriental congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr. has been released from house arrest in Timor-Leste, the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirmed yesterday. 

DOJ spokesman Mico Clavano said under Timor-Leste’s laws, a fugitive can only be detained for a maximum of 90 days and Teves’ house arrest concluded on June 21.

However, Teves’ movement is still restricted and is subject to close monitoring, Clavano said.

“He will strictly not be allowed to leave Timor-Leste until a final ruling on his extradition has been reached,” he said.

Timor-Leste authorities have been ordered to secure all borders – air, land and sea – to ensure Teves would not leave Dili, the capital of the country.

Teves has also been ordered to present himself in court every two days while waiting for the decision of the Timor-Leste court.

Clavano said the decision on Teves’ extradition case is expected to come out next week.

“We are working closely with our international counterparts in Timor-Leste to ensure that the Philippine government may attain justice for the alleged victims of Teves crying for justice despite the evasive attitude of the fugitive/terrorist-designate and former lawmaker,” he said.

Teves has been tagged as the mastermind of the March 4, 2023 assassination of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and nine others.

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

He was designated a “terrorist” in 2023 after he was expelled from the House of Representatives for disorderly conduct and continued absence despite an expired travel authority. 

The Philippine government has requested Timor-Leste for the extradition of Teves so that he may be deported and face charges against him in the Philippines.