By Benjamin Pulta

PNA file photo

MANILA – The Philippine government is still waiting for Timor-Leste’s decision on ousted lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr., the Department of Justice said Tuesday.

“Let’s give due respect to the courts of Timor Leste. They are a sovereign country with their own systems. As of now, we can only confirm that we are awaiting their decision,” DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano told reporters in reply to reports that Teves’ request for political asylum has been turned down.

“We are following all the right processes and we do hope for a favorable outcome,” Clavano added.

Teves is fighting his deportation back to the Philippines and has remained in Timor-Leste where he was arrested last March based on a red notice issued by the International Criminal Police Organization.

The former lawmaker is facing 10 counts of murder, 12 counts of frustrated murder, and four counts of attempted murder before the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 51 in relation to the March 4, 2023 shootings in Pamplona town. The trial court had issued an arrest order against him.

Meanwhile, Teves’ counsel, Ferdinand Topacio, said they are yet to receive any confirmation of a Timor court decision on the asylum request, and said that any denial would be subject to an appeal which has a 20-day transitional period within which the requesting party would not be deported. (PNA)