The Department of Justice (DOJ) has officially acknowledged receipt of an order from Regional Trial Court Branch 51, dated February 8, 2024, for the immediate revocation of the passport of former Congressman Arnulfo Teves, Jr. This directive aligns with the ongoing legal proceedings against Teves, who has been labeled a fugitive and is currently grappling with multiple murder charges.
In justifying the decision, the Honorable Judge of Regional Trial Court Branch 51 pointed out that although the Philippine Constitution guarantees the right to travel, this right is not absolute and can be subject to limitations imposed by the law.
The cancellation of Teves’ travel documents was based on the court’s order that highlighted the severity of the charges against him and his designation as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council.
Secretary of Justice Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla reiterated the government’s commitment to uphold the rule of law and ensure that all individuals, regardless of their status, are held accountable for their actions.
“The pursuit of justice remains steadfast and unyielding. We will not allow individuals charged with heinous crimes to evade the legal process,” Secretary Remulla said.
“This is a clear message that our society demands accountability, and we shall leave no stone unturned to bring alleged perpetrators to book. Our resolve to create a just and fair Philippine society for all is stronger than ever,” he stressed.
In compliance with the said order, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has been directed to cancel Teves’ passport while the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been instructed to take appropriate measures to facilitate the return of the accused in the country.