Teves arrested again, Justice Department says
2 mins read

Teves arrested again, Justice Department says

Former MP Arnoldo Teves with lawyer Ferdinando Topacio.  His lawyer said Teves had been released from preventive detention at Becora Prison in Dili, East Timor.  (Photo from Atta. Ferdinand Topacio)

Expelled MP Arnoldo Teves (white shirt) with his defense lawyer, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, during the former’s “release” from preventive detention at Becora Prison in Dili, East Timor. —photo from Atta. Ferdinand Topacio

MANILA, Philippines – Expelled lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. he was released but then arrested again, the Department of Justice (DOJ) explained on Monday.

Deputy Secretary of State and Department of Justice spokesman Jose Dominic Clavano IV said Teves had been re-arrested by East Timor’s Policia Nacional.

“It’s part of the process going on in this country,” he said.

In an earlier message to reporters, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, Teves’ attorney, announced that the former Negros Oriental representative had been released from preventive detention, saying the Philippine government’s request was filed out of time and in a manner inconsistent with practice and customary international law.

READ: Teves released from custody in East Timor, says his lawyer

Clavano, however, said the Philippine government was able to present all requirements in advance and in full compliance with East Timorese law.

“Highly irresponsible, an insult”

“So Atta’s statements. Topacio is misleading, highly irresponsible and an insult to both countries,” Clavano said.

He added: “He (Topacio) should know that while he owes allegiance to his client, he remains an official of the court and must act accordingly to maintain his majesty and integrity.”

The Justice Department said Teves will continue to face trial pending his extradition.

“The Department is confident that the extradition proceedings will be successful. Moreover, the former congressman may still be deported, depending on the direction taken by the East Timorese government in consultation with the Philippines,” Clavano said.

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The Justice Department could not provide any details about the reasons for Teves’ initial firing because the East Timorese government is still preparing a report for the Philippine government.

“His release and subsequent arrest should not be considered an obstacle to the trial, but simply part of it. We appreciate the steps currently being taken by the East Timorese government to remove him from its territory and look forward to his return to the Philippines to face multiple murder charges,” Clavano said.