Teves camp not surprised by the terrorist tag
Teves camp not surprised by the terrorist tag
Teves camp not surprised by the terrorist tag
by Ellicia Del Mundo01 August 2023
Photo courtesy: RH Boy Gonzales

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio on Tuesday said they are not surprised by the designation of his client, suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo 'Arnie' Teves as a terrorist.

"This latest act on the part of the government against our client, Rep. Arnolfor Teves, comes as no surprise," he said in a statement released hours after the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) released a resolution tagging Teves and 12 other individuals as terrorists.

Topacio pointed out that since the death of former Negros Governor Roel Degamo in March this year, the national government "has mobilized all the resources at its disposal" to point Teves as the mastermind behind the crime "at the expense of his Constitutional rights".

The legal counsel claimed that the government is weaponizing the Anti-Terror Act (ATA) as the law's true design is not being utilized.


"It is thus a sad day for the Rule of Law in this country, and a shocking reminder that even under constitutional and republican regime, the return to a government of men and not laws can always ensue, especially for those targeted for destruction by the present dispensation," he lamented.

Topacio said this development should frighten citizens for "liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected."

In a separate statement, Michael Mella, the lawyer of Nigel Electona, said that his client's designation "has no factual and legal anchorage."

Electona is believed to be among the individuals who provided material support to Teves' armed group.


Mella stressed that this move is an "oppression abuse of power and exact paradigm of capricious disregard of due process of law."

"With undiminished respect, for the ATC to declare him as part of the terrorist group is too irresponsible, oppressive, and cruel as he has been adjudged already sans due process of law," he furthered.

Under Resolution No. 43 dated July 26 and signed by ATC chairperson and Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin, the council said it found "probable cause warranting the designation of Cong. Teves. Jr. and his armed group hereinafter referred to as the "Teves Terrorist Group", a terrorist group of persons, organizations, or associations for violation of the ATA"

The ATC cited that relevant facts and pieces of evidence point that several killings and harassments in Negros Oriental, including the brazen assassination of former Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, are connected to Teves and his group.

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