Teves bares alleged order to ‘intercept’ him once he arrives in PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 19) — Suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves claimed Friday the existence of an order directing immigration officers to “instantaneously intercept” him once he lands in the Philippines.

“May order ngayon na kapag ako ay dumating, ako ay i-intercept. Ang mas nakakapagtaka, lumabas ang order na ito bago pa sila nag-file ng mga kaso laban sa akin,” he said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

[Translation: There is an order that when I arrive, I will be intercepted. What's more surprising is that this order was issued before they even filed charges against me.]

The alleged order flashed on the uploaded video stated that all personnel must be “on high alert and vigilant to monitor” Teves’ arrival. The order, supposedly from Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Norman Tansingco, also read that concerned officers must coordinate with law enforcement authorities.

Teves, who has been tagged as the “mastermind” in the killing of the province’s governor Roel Degamo and in alleged 2019 murders, said this was why some government officials have been urging him to return home despite “threats” to his life.

The embattled lawmaker even said that the order was a clear indication of “political persecution” and an attempt to violate his human rights.

He stressed that while he has pending cases, he remains “innocent until proven guilty.”

“Hindi ako dapat i-intercept, hindi dapat ako hulihin, at hindi ako dapat ikulong,” he said.

[Translation: I should not be intercepted, arrested, or imprisoned.]


The BI, on the other hand, clarified that "such instruction is merely a part of the BI’s protocols in monitoring individuals who are subject of high profile cases. Coordination with local law enforcement agencies is crucial in the proper implementation of BI procedures."

It added that arresting Filipino nationals is not part of the agency's scope.

The BI also said it has received a request from the Philippine National Police Aviation Security Group to expedite arrival formalities for Teves, as they will be providing assistance to ensure his safety and security.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, meanwhile, distanced himself from the alleged order to intercept Teves.

"Intercept? You have to ask them [BI] because I didn't write it and I wasn't part of that. I don't think that there's anything that can be gleaned from that, they're making a big deal out of nothing because the BI is a sovereign body that guards the borders," he said.

The secretary also denied that Teves' rights have been violated.

"We've been observing due process in every way possible for every person accused of a crime," Remulla told the media on Friday.

"Ang dami niyang binabato, hindi naman kami pumatay ng sampung tao [He's making so many accusations but we're not the ones who killed 10 people]. Just go home and face the charges. Why should he charge us with something?” he added.

On Wednesday, Teves dismissed Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla’s claim that he would return to the country within the day as “fake news.”

The National Bureau of Investigation filed murder complaints against Teves over the assassination of Degamo on the same day.

READ: NBI files murder complaints vs. Rep. Teves over Degamo killing

During an interview with CNN Philippines’ The Source, Justice Spokesperson Mico Clavano said the Anti-Terrorist Council technical working group is set to meet anew to discuss the plan to designate Teves as a terrorist.

Clavano said they expect to see more evidence emerge against the lawmaker, aside from those related to Degamo’s murder.

“They had other sources that told them about other incidents which were not even filed with the court or with the prosecutor. But of course the NBI had to focus on the Degamo case first. But now, they’ve started to dig into those other incidents,” he said.

The official said Remulla is confident that the designation may happen in “about a month or so.”