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‘Warlords’ protecting Teves—DOJ

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Fugitive ousted Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves remains in a country in Southeast Asia, the Department of Justice said on Wednesday.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said this was the information that reached him during the monitoring of the whereabouts of the congressman, the principal accused in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo last March.

The DOJ also received information that Teves is now being protected by some “warlords” in the country where he is hiding, Remulla added.

Teves was reported to be shuttling between Cambodia and Timor Leste, where he also sought political asylum after he was accused of masterminding the murder of Degamo and 10 others at the governor’s house in Pamplona, Negros Oriental.

“He’s still there, still in Southeast Asia, supposedly under the protection of a few local warlords, that’s news to us but we’ll see, because that’s ASEAN. Under ASEAN, we can actually ask them more upfront about what’s happening in their country, especially if it is somebody who is a known terrorist being harbored by anybody,” he said.

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The DOJ is also finalizing the letter to be submitted to the United Nations in relation to Teves’ pending arrest warrant. It aims to get the help of UN member countries to arrest the former congressman, the Justice Secretary said.

Remulla expressed belief that the supposed protection of warlords will not be an obstacle to the arrest of Teves.

“We don’t see that as a problem. We can make this bilateral. In the bilateral relations of those countries, it is easy to get along. They will not allow this to become an obstacle in catching people wanted for terrorism,” Remulla said.

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