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Ex-Filipino Congressman Allegedly Behind Governor and 8 Others’ Killings Apprehended at Golf Range

Credits: Free Malaysia Today

A former Filipino congressman accused of orchestrating the killings of a provincial governor and several others has been apprehended while playing golf in East Timor. He is set to be sent back to the Philippines, according to Philippine justice officials.

Arnolfo Teves Jr. was arrested at the Top Golf Driving Range and Bar in East Timor’s capital of Dili, where he had sought asylum. His arrest was made following an Interpol red notice to locate and detain him.

Teves faces murder charges in connection with the deaths of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others, including individuals seeking assistance at his residence in Pamplona town in March of the previous year. The attack also resulted in injuries to at least 17 others, including a doctor and two army soldiers.

Ex-Filipino Congressman (Credits: PTV News)

Janice Degamo, the widow of Roel Degamo and the mayor of Pamplona municipality, welcomed Teves’ arrest on Facebook and shared drone footage of his apprehension at the golf range.

The incident involved six armed individuals wearing military gear entering Degamo’s residential compound and opening fire, as captured by security cameras. The assailants fled in three SUVs.

Following the attack, eleven suspects were arrested, while one was killed in a shoot-out. Teves denies any involvement in the killings and claims he was framed.

The killings shed light on the Philippines’ political conflicts, exacerbated by private armies and widespread illegal firearms, particularly in rural areas.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. referred to the attack on Degamo as “purely political” and praised law enforcement efforts to apprehend Teves.

Philippine Flag (Credits: FreeImages)

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla urged Teves to face trial without conditions, citing the arrest as a result of international cooperation.

Teves is also implicated in the killings of three individuals in 2019 in Negros Oriental and for violations of gun and explosives laws after authorities discovered weapons and ammunition at his family’s residence. The Philippines faces challenges, including crime and decades-long insurgencies by Muslim and communist groups.

One of the deadliest instances of political violence in the country occurred in 2009, when nearly 200 armed individuals, led by members of a powerful political clan, ambushed a convoy of a rival family in Maguindanao province, resulting in the deaths of 58 individuals, including 32 media workers. Despite some convictions, many suspects in the attack remain at large.

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