DOJ: Operation to arrest Teves intensifies after encounter with Manny Pacquiao
DOJ: Operation to arrest Teves intensifies after encounter with Manny Pacquiao
DOJ: Operation to arrest Teves intensifies after encounter with Manny Pacquiao
by Ellicia Del Mundo01 October 2023
Screengrab from Associacao Cultural Wewiku Wehali video

The operation to arrest former Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo ‘Arnie’ Teves will be intensified after it was confirmed that he had a brief chance encounter with former Senator Manny Pacquiao in Timor Leste, Department of Justice (DOJ) spokesperson Miko Clavano said on on Saturday, Sept. 30.

In the viral video on social media platforms, Teves was seen welcoming Pacquiao who by then arrived at the airport in Timor Leste.

Another viral video posted by Associacao Cultural Wewiku Wehali showed the former Negros lawmaker with the former Senator entering an event venue.

In an interview with the media, Clavano said the camp of Pacquiao confirmed that the two met but it was merely a “chance encounter.”

“At hindi naman daw sinadya na magkita sila doon sa mismong airport. Siya [Pacquiao] ay sinalubong lang sa airport at nagpakita din doon sa event na pinuntahan ni Senator Manny” he added.

Since Teves had shown up, Clavano said that they would “further intensify” their operation and “speed up the process.”

“We will have to go to diplomatic channel dahil wala naman tayong extradition treaty with Timor Leste. But the cooperation and communication between the two governments has been very fruitful,” he said.

The DOJ spokesperson said they can make Teves return to the country in a few days or months.

Meanwhile, in a statement, the former Negros lawmaker’s legal counsel, Ferdinand Topacio refused to give further details about the whereabout of his client.

“I can neither confirm or deny it. My only comment is that Mr. Pacquiao is the kind of person who sticks to his principles and loyalties even if doing so is not politically expedient,” he said.

Teves is facing murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder charges in relation to the brutal killing of former Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and nine others.

On Sept. 5, the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 51 issued an e-warrant of arrest against Teves after the court found "probable cause" against him.

In August, the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) designated Teves and 12 other individuals, who were allegedly members of his armed group, as terrorists.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) had sought the help of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) the embattled former lawmaker.

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