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Ex-Negros Oriental congressman Arnie Teves (Photo: House of Representatives)

Arnie Teves, main accused in Degamo slay case, arrested

by Carl Santos

AUTHORITIES in East Timor on Thursday arrested Arnolfo ”Arnie” Teves Jr., the main accused in the killing of political rival Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. 

Teves was arrested while playing golf at the Top Golf Driving Range and Bar in Dili, the capital of East Timor, where the expelled Negros Oriental lawmaker had been staying after being charged with Degamo’s murder, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said. 

Related Article:Negros Oriental gov, five others killed in attack

Related Article:One of alleged masterminds in Degamo slay arrested – Remulla

Several law enforcement agencies, including the International Police (INTERPOL) National Central Bureau (NCB) in Dili and the East Timorese Police, teamed up to locate and arrest Teves, whose extradition to the Philippines is now being worked out, the DOJ added. 

“Today’s apprehension of Teves is a testament to the power of international cooperation. It sends a clear message that no terrorist can evade justice and that nations stand united in safeguarding the safety and security of their citizens,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said in a statement.

Remulla also urged Teves to face his ”long-delayed trial without setting any conditions.”

”Face the courts squarely,” the Cabinet official said.

Degamo’s widow, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, welcomed Teves’ arrest.

“Words cannot express how it feels to finally see the man who terrorized our province and brutally murdered my husband surrounded by police,” she said on Facebook.

Several individuals were charged with the murder of Degamo, who was attacked by armed men while distributing aid to his constituents at his residence in Pamplona, Negros Oriental, on March 4, 2023. 

Teves, who was removed from the House of Representatives in August 2023 for disorderly behavior, has repeatedly denied allegations that he was the mastermind of the crime. 

He had refused to return to the Philippines, citing security threats. 



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