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Interpol issues red notice vs fugitive Teves: Remulla, NBI

MANILA — The International Criminal Police Organization or Interpol has issued a “red notice” against expelled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. who is facing charges over the killing of a political rival, Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) reported.
 
According to Interpol, a red notice is a “request to law enforcement worldwide to locate and provisionally arrest a person pending extradition, surrender, or similar legal action,” adding that it is “not an international arrest warrant.”

 Remulla said an Interpol red notice is “similar to or akin to an international warrant of arrest.”

Remulla said a team from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will be sent to the last known whereabouts of Teves to work with the Interpol in enforcing an arrest warrant issued by a Manila court.

An Interpol Red Notice is equivalent to an international warrant of arrest, Remulla said.

“Sa political and criminal jurisdiction ng ating bansa (Under the political and criminal jurisdiction of our country), we can issue a warrant of arrest within our boundaries. Pag tumakas ang ibang tao at nag-ibang bayan, humihingi tayo ng tulong sa iba’t ibang bansa. At tayo rin ay nakikisama rin at tumutulong sa kanila na hulihin ‘yung mga tinutugis ng batas upang sila ay mapanagot sa kanilang mg krimen (A fugitive who flees to another place may still be recovered with the help of foreign government to make a person answer for a crime),” Remulla noted.

“(East) Timor may apprehend Teves. However, they might prefer us to send a team there. Most likely, we will dispatch a team to (East) Timor to execute the warrant,” he said.

Remulla said the procedure may only require “two to three team members” from Manila.

“It’s not difficult to do. But we need to finalize the formal communication and paperwork.”

Mayor Janice Degamo of Pamplona town in Negros Oriental, meanwhile,  thanked the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its commitment to help solve the assassination case of her husband Governor Roel Degamo.

The mayor met with DOJ officials in Manila ahead of the scheduled pre-trial of the murder charges.

Degamo said the cancellation of the passport of the government’s primary suspect, fugitive former Negros Oriental 3rd Disrict Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., is proof of the government’s commitment to prosecute those responsible for the attack.

“We are grateful that the DOJ officials took time to explain to us the status of the case and which belied the misinformation being spread by certain parties,” Degamo told the media after a case conference led by Deputy Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.

The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 51, in a Feb. 8 decision, directed the immediate cancellation of the passport of Teves, who is facing multiple murder charges and has been declared a fugitive from justice in connection with the killing of his political rival, former Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and 10 others.

In compliance with the court’s order, the Department of Foreign Affairs was directed to cancel Teves’ passport while the National Bureau of Investigation was instructed to take appropriate measures to facilitate the return of the accused to the country.

Teves remains at large and has been reported to be in East Timor.

The court noted that the severity of the charges against Teves and his designation as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council justifies the cancellation of his travel documents.