President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has expressed gratitude to Timor-Leste for its “quick” rejection of the political asylum application of embattled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr.
This, as Marcos on Thursday held a bilateral meeting with Timor-Leste Prime Minister Taur Matan Ruak on the sidelines of the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits in Labuan Bajo, Indonesian.
During the meeting, Ruak mentioned Timor-Leste’s decision to turn down the asylum request of Teves who was considered as one of the possible masterminds in the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and several others.
Marcos thanked Ruak for the prompt action on Teves’ asylum plea, saying it would now be easier for authorities to bring Teves back to the country to answer the allegations against the embattled lawmaker.
“In denying his request for political asylum then we are going closer in the case to bring him back home to face the allegations that have been made [against him]. But again, we thank you for your very quick response in that regard,” Marcos told Ruak.
“Thank you very much Mr. Prime Minister for your very quick action on this issue,” he added.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday reported that Timor-Leste has denied Teves’ application for political asylum.
Timor-Leste has given Teves five days to leave the host country.
On Wednesday, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez renewed his call on Teves to return to the Philippines and face the charges in connection with the brutal killing of Degamo in March this year.
If Teves fails to return, the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges might recommend further sanctions against the suspended lawmaker, Romualdez said.
The House of Representatives suspended Teves for 60 days late in March for failure to return to the country and face the ethics panel despite the expiration of his US visa.
CURRENTPH NEWS SERVICE