NEGROS Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. cannot be arrested if he arrives in the country yet, as no arrest warrant has been issued against him as of March 13, 2023 despite the filing of murder charges against him and five others.

Teves is currently in the United States for medical reasons. Murder complaints were filed against him and five individuals last week by the Criminal Investigation and Detection group over the killings of three victims in Negros Oriental in 2019.

But Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said

Monday, March 13, that they cannot put Teves yet under their custody pending the issuance of an arrest warrant against him.

Azurin said he has ordered the PNP-Aviation Security Group (Avsegroup) to monitor the possible arrival of Teves, who has also been tagged as mastermind in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on March 4, 2023.

In a press conference, Azurin said Teves has yet to communicate with the PNP amid his implication in Degamo’s killing and the recovery of various firearms and ammunition in his residences in Negros Oriental during a raid conducted by police last week.

“We are expecting him to return to answer ‘yung mga accusations and mga charges against him,” he said.

Teves was tagged by the arrested gunmen as the brains behind the killing of Degamo. The four arrested suspects are currently in Manila and two of them will be placed under the Witness Protection Program.

In a separate interview, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said 17 cases, including eight murder complaints, frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition, were filed against the suspects in Degamo’s killing.

He said 13 more cases will be filed against them in the coming days.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez earlier urged Teves to come back home after his travel authority expired last week and for him to be able to face and answer allegations against him.

Teves, however, sought an extension of his stay abroad until April 9 but his chief legal counsel, Ferdinand Topacio, reiterated that he will face the charges filed against him. (SunStar Philippines)