By Benjamin Pulta

DOJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano (File photo)

MANILA – The camp of former Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. is expected to exhaust the 30-day period to appeal the decision of Timor-Leste’s court approving the Philippine government’s request for his extradition, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Wednesday.

“They (Teves’ counsel) have a total of 30 days to file their motion for reconsideration which started June 27. At sa tingin namin (We foresee), as an accused, they will try to exhaust yung full period. We are ready kung ano man ang magiging desisyon ng (for whatever is the decision of the) (Timor Leste) Court of Appeals,” DOJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano told reporters on the sidelines of the agency’s town hall meeting in Dasmariñas City, Cavite.

Clavano, meanwhile, said the Philippine law enforcement agencies have a team ready to fly to Timor Leste to bring Teves back to Manila once the Timor Leste government has finally resolved the appeal.

“This is a very new process to Timor-Leste. This is the first time that they will ever extradite somebody from their country. So we are coordinating very closely with the Timor-Leste officials to make sure that every step of the way, from the minute and second that the decision is rendered to the time that he is finally put on the plane to come back to the Philippines, dapat yung lahat po ng detalye na yun ay malaman na natin bago tayo pumunta doon (all details must be resolved before we go there). So with the coordination with the DFA, coordination with the Timor-Leste officials, we will be able to iron out lahat po ng maliliit na (all the small) details,” he said.

Teves faces murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder charges in connection with the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo last year.

Finding other fugitives

Meanwhile, Clavano said the DOJ will leave to law enforcers any possible actions regarding former President Rodrigo Duterte’s claim that he knows the whereabouts of two other fugitives — Kingdom of Jesus Christ leader Pastor Apollo Quiboloy and former Bureau of Corrections chief Gerald Bantag.

Quiboloy faces sexual abuse and human trafficking charges while Bantag is tagged as the primary suspect in the murder of journalist Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa.

“(W)e leave it up to the law enforcement agencies to evaluate muna kung ano yun sa tingin nila na (first what they think on) possible actions that they can take on the statements of the former president, But on the part of the DOJ, again we will wait for any complaint that is filed with the department before we act on it,” Clavano said. (PNA)