Interpol issues notice on Philippine lawmaker facing murder case


THE INTERNATIONAL Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) has issued a notice against a Philippine congressman who faces murder charges back home, according to the country’s Justice chief.

Interpol had issued a so-called blue notice against Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo A. Teves Jr., who has been linked to the murder of provincial Governor Roel R. Degamo, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla told a news briefing on Wednesday.

This allows the Philippine government to gain information about Mr. Teves when he travels to different countries. 

“What’s happening now is that we are informed of his movements by all jurisdictions,” the Justice secretary said. “Once he enters a certain jurisdiction, they inform us of his movements.”

Mr. Remulla said the country’s anti-terrorism council might discuss how to go about designating the suspended congressman as a terrorist under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020.

Timor-Leste has rejected the congressman’s bid for political asylum, the Foreign Affairs department said on Tuesday night. He was given five days to leave the country, it said.

Mr. Degamo and eight others, including two village leaders, were killed, while 15 were wounded when armed men opened fire at his residential compound, where cash aid was being distributed on March 4.

Last month, the House of Representatives suspended the congressman for 60 days for failing to report back to work after his travel authority expired on March 9.

Mr. Teves, who has gone into hiding, has denied involvement in the crime and cited threats against him and his family.

In a separate statement, Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez urged Mr. Teves to return to the Philippines and face the charges.

“Rather than evade investigation by Philippine law enforcement agencies, Congressman Arnie should return home immediately and face the accusation against him,” he said. — John Victor D. Ordoñez