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International Cooperation Leads to Arrest of Designated Terrorist: Arnolfo Teves Jr.

In a dramatic turn of events, Arnolfo Teves Jr., former congressman of Negros Oriental, long sought by Philippine authorities for his alleged involvement in multiple murders and designated as a terrorist, was apprehended in Dili, East Timor. The arrest, orchestrated by a collaborative effort between law enforcement agencies, marks a significant milestone in international cooperation against terrorism.

Expelled from the House of Representatives for extended absence, Teves found himself in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. His alleged role as the mastermind behind the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, along with five others in March 2023, sent shockwaves through the region. Further charges awaited him, including involvement in a series of killings dating back to 2019.

The arrest unfolded at the Top Golf Driving Range and Bar, where Teves reportedly enjoyed a round of golf. Timorese Police swiftly took him into custody, signaling a step closer to justice for the victims and their families.

Reacting to the news, Mayor Janice Degamo, widow of the slain governor, expressed relief and gratitude. “We already confirmed that the mastermind of my husband’s murder has finally been captured by Timor Leste police. Words cannot express how it feels to finally see the man who terrorized our province and brutally murdered my husband, surrounded by police. Dalaygon ang buhi nga Dios!” she wrote on Facebook.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) hailed the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies, including the International Police (Interpol) – National Central Bureau (NCB) in Dili, for their role in Teves’ apprehension. Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla emphasized its message: “It sends a clear message that no terrorist can evade justice and that nations stand united in safeguarding the safety and security of their citizens.”

Teves now awaits extradition to the Philippines, where he will face the charges against him. Despite attempts to evade justice, the long arm of the law has caught up with him. His arrest serves as a reminder that terrorism knows no borders and that global cooperation is paramount in combating such threats.

As the wheels of justice turn, the people of Negros Oriental reflect on the sacrifices made in the pursuit of peace. Mayor Janice Degamo, poised to seek the vacant Third District congressional seat in the upcoming elections, vows to honor her late husband’s legacy by championing peace and prosperity in the province.

The arrest of Arnolfo Teves Jr. stands as a testament to the power of international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, offering hope for a safer and more secure future.