Teves seeks to extend overseas stay, says House exec

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 10 2023 05:56 PM

MANILA -- Embattled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves has sought to extend his travel clearance after being linked to the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, House Secretary Gen. Reginald Velasco said Friday.

"We have received information that he wants his personal trip extended. But we told the staff na kailangan under our House rules, kailangan specify nyo saan yung country or countries and then specific time, dates," Velasco said. 

Velasco said the House has yet to receive a formal extension request from Teves himself.

"Wala pa kaming na-receive na personal. Ibig sabihin pinirmahan nya, tapos i-specify, kasi pag walang country or countries and dates, wala kaming action kasi hindi valid yung request nya," Velasco said. 

"Yung chief of staff lang eh, kailangan kasi may formal request signed by the congressman concerned," he added.

(We have yet to receive a personal request that he signed. If there are no countries and dates specified, we will have no course of action because his request is invalid. It's only from the chief of staff. There should be a formal request signed by the congressman.)

Teves' travel clearance to visit the US was valid only from Feb. 28 to March 9.

Velasco explained that lawmakers who travel without clearance would not even be marked absent. 

But Velasco clarified that any breaches related to the travel clearance of lawmakers are referred to the Committee on Ethics.

Velasco added that the House could even compel Teves to come home.

House Speaker Martin Romualdez earlier urged Teves to return home and answer allegations that he was behind the assassination of Degamo.

Teves on Monday said he received information that he would be pinned down for Degamo's assassination. He said he and his clan had nothing to do with the killing. 

The lawmaker's brother, Pryde Henry Teves, was unseated by Degamo after the Supreme Court declared him last month the rightful winner of the contest for the Negros Oriental governorship. 

The police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Tuesday filed murder complaints against Rep. Teves and several others for the death of three people in 2019.