Expelled Congressman Teves’ Lawyer Warns DOJ Executive: Exercise Caution in Statements

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio
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Topacio further emphasized that the issue at hand goes beyond the jurisdiction of the DOJ and extends to the realm of international law. He argued that the alleged persecution of Teves should not be solely left to the Philippine justice system, as there may be instances where seeking justice through international channels becomes necessary.
In support of his argument, Topacio cited various cases wherein individuals have sought redress before international bodies due to the failure of their respective national justice systems. He highlighted that the UNCHR serves as a vital avenue for individuals who believe they have been subjected to human rights violations and are unable to find justice within their own countries.
Moreover, Topacio pointed out that the Philippines, as a member of the United Nations, is bound by international treaties and conventions that protect the rights of individuals. These include the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. He stressed that the country has an obligation to recognize and respect the processes carried out by UN agencies, including the UNCHR.
Therefore, Topacio urged the DOJ and its spokesperson to exercise caution and refrain from dismissing the potential involvement of international bodies in the case of Teves. He argued that it is not within their purview to decide whether Teves or his representatives can bring the alleged persecution before the UNCHR. Instead, he called for a more thoughtful approach, one that acknowledges the complexities of the situation and the possibility of seeking justice beyond national borders.
In conclusion, the warning issued by Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio serves as a reminder that the pursuit of justice should not be limited to a single jurisdiction. The case of expelled Congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr. raises important questions about the role of international law and the obligations of the Philippine government as a member of the United Nations. As the legal battle continues, it remains to be seen whether Teves and his legal team will indeed explore avenues beyond the Philippine justice system in their quest for justice.

The Allegations Against Teves

Arnolfo Teves Jr. is currently being tagged as the mastermind behind the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and five other individuals on March 4, 2023. Additionally, the former lawmaker is facing multiple murder charges in Negros Oriental in connection with a series of murders that occurred in various parts of the province in 2019.
These allegations have sent shockwaves throughout the province and the entire country, as Teves was once a respected figure in the political arena. Known for his charisma and strong influence, he had built a reputation as a champion of the people, fighting for their rights and advocating for development in the region.
However, the recent turn of events has tarnished his image and left many questioning his true intentions. The allegations against Teves have brought to light a dark side that was previously hidden from the public eye. The details surrounding the assassination of Governor Degamo and the other murders are chilling, painting a picture of a calculated and ruthless individual.
Furthermore, Teves was designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) in August 2023 and has been the subject of a red notice. This designation has raised concerns about his potential involvement in other criminal activities and has led to intensified efforts to bring him to justice.
The former lawmaker’s arrest in Timor-Leste came as a surprise to many, as he had managed to evade capture for several weeks. It is believed that he had been hiding in various locations, using his connections and resources to stay one step ahead of the authorities. However, his luck ran out when he was apprehended while indulging in a seemingly innocent game of golf.
Currently, Teves is in the custody of the Dili police, and efforts are being made by the Philippine government to repatriate him and bring him back to the country to face the charges filed against him. The legal process is expected to be lengthy and complex, as the allegations against him carry severe penalties, including the possibility of life imprisonment or even the death penalty.
As the case unfolds, the public eagerly awaits the truth to be revealed and justice to be served. The allegations against Teves have shaken the foundations of trust and integrity in the political system, leaving many to question the motives and actions of those in power. It serves as a stark reminder that even those who appear to be pillars of society can harbor dark secrets, and it is the duty of the justice system to uncover the truth and hold individuals accountable for their actions. Furthermore, the involvement of an international body like the UNCHR adds another layer of complexity to the case. The UNCHR, as a global organization, is responsible for monitoring and protecting human rights around the world. When a case like Teves’ is brought to their attention, they have the authority to investigate and intervene if they believe there has been a violation of human rights.
In this particular case, Teves’ legal counsel believes that the Philippine justice system may not provide the necessary impartiality or fairness in handling the charges against him. They argue that he is being persecuted for his political beliefs and that his arrest in Timor-Leste was politically motivated. By involving the UNCHR, they hope to ensure a thorough and unbiased examination of the case, free from any potential bias or interference from the Philippine government.
However, it is important to note that the involvement of the UNCHR does not mean that they have the power to override the decisions of the Philippine justice system. They can only make recommendations and provide guidance based on international human rights standards. Ultimately, it is up to the Philippine government to decide how they will handle the case and whether they will take the recommendations of the UNCHR into account.
In light of these international implications, it is crucial to consider the importance of context when analyzing this case. Each country has its own legal system, customs, and practices that shape the way justice is administered. The actions and statements of the DOJ spokesman, Assistant Secretary Jose Dominic Clavano, should be viewed within the framework of the Philippine legal system and the obligations of the country as a member of the United Nations.
The Philippines, as a member of the United Nations, has committed itself to upholding the principles of international law and protecting human rights. This means that they have a responsibility to ensure that their legal system is fair, impartial, and respects the rights of individuals. By examining this case within the context of the Philippines’ international obligations, we can better understand the significance of the allegations against Teves and the potential impact it may have on the country’s reputation.
In conclusion, the case involving Arnolfo Teves Jr. raises important questions about the intersection of national and international law. The involvement of the UNCHR highlights the potential for cases to extend beyond national borders and involve international organizations. It is crucial to approach this case with an understanding of the local laws, customs, and international obligations of the Philippines to ensure a fair and just resolution. By considering the complexities and implications of this case, we can gain a deeper understanding of the challenges faced in balancing national sovereignty and international human rights standards.

Source: The Manila Times

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