Expelled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. was arrested in Timor-Leste

Former Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., expelled from his position, was arrested in Timor-Leste on Thursday, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).


Teves Jr., labeled as a “terrorist,” was apprehended in Dili, Timor-Leste, around 4 p.m. while playing golf, the DOJ reported.

He faces several murder charges related to the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and five others in March 2023.


The arrest was made possible through cooperation among law enforcement agencies, including the International Police (INTERPOL) National Central Bureau (NCB) in Dili, in coordination with the Timor-Leste Police.


“This capture highlights the importance of international collaboration. It sends a clear message that no terrorist can escape justice, and nations are united in protecting their citizens’ safety and security,” stated Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla.


Teves is currently in the custody of Timor-Leste Police while arrangements for his extradition to the Philippines are underway by NCB-Dili, in coordination with the teams from NCB-Manila and the Philippine Embassy in Dili.


“Teves’s capture demonstrates that with collective efforts and determination, terrorism can be thwarted, and peace can be upheld,” Remulla emphasized.


He urged Teves to face his long-delayed trial without conditions and to confront the courts directly.


Janice Degamo, the wife of the late Governor Roel Degamo and Mayor of Pamplona, welcomed Teves Jr.’s arrest.


“We have confirmed that the mastermind behind my husband’s murder has finally been apprehended by Timor-Leste police. Words cannot describe the relief of seeing the man who terrorized our province and ruthlessly took my husband’s life now in police custody,” she expressed in a Facebook post on Thursday night. “Praise be to God for this victory!”


A “red notice” against Teves Jr. was issued by Interpol in February, which serves as a request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition or similar legal action, though it’s not an international arrest warrant.


In February, the DOJ, through the Bureau of Immigration, issued two alert list orders against Teves.


Moreover, the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 51 ordered the immediate cancellation of Teves Jr.’s passport.


Teves Jr. was expelled from the House of Representatives in August 2023 due to prolonged absence from his duties and allegations of involvement in Governor Degamo’s assassination.

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