By Marita Moaje

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) said Wednesday the allegations made by expelled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. that he has been falsely accused is a “mere imaginary and delaying tactic.”

“The DOJ categorizes such statements as imaginary and a delaying tactic. While he paints himself as a victim, there are clear victims in the case of multiple murders,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said in a statement.

Remulla was responding to a circulating letter that allegedly came from Teves who is seeking intervention and the help of the United Nations, Amnesty International, human rights groups, and even Pope Francis, claiming that he is unjustly persecuted and falsely accused.

“You all know the reality in the Philippines, please do not send me there. I do not want to be killed. Please save my life,” Teves allegedly wrote in his letter.

Remulla advised Teves that instead of dilly-dallying things, he should just face the court of law and answer the charges against him fair and square.

He also told Teves’ legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio “to act accordingly as expected from an officer of the court by avoiding baseless pronouncements against the State which malign the integrity of the country’s Justice System.”

“Teves is a designated terrorist and fugitive from justice, he is also facing grave charges, such as multiple murders and all of that is a reality Topacio and his client should face. Until then, we cannot recognize anything they say unless they present themselves in court,” Remulla said.

He said the Philippine government, on numerous occasions, has guaranteed the protection of Teves.

“Prove us wrong that you are not merely employing tactics intended to delay or circumvent the Rule of Law by presenting ‘real’ and ‘existing’ proof that Teves’ life is in danger. Otherwise, submit yourselves to Philippine jurisdiction. Time is of the essence knowing that there are victims crying for justice,” Remulla told Topacio.

On the allegation that cases have been pushed through against Teves despite the recantation of witnesses, Remulla said it is within the court’s jurisdiction to decide in a full-blown trial.

Teves is facing multiple murder and other criminal charges over the Pamplona, Negros Oriental shootings that killed 10 persons, including Governor Roel Degamo, on March 4, 2023. (PNA)