MANILA - Several firearms and explosives were recovered on Friday by authorities from the properties of Cong. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. and his staff in Negros Oriental, a police official said Saturday.
Col. Thomas Valmonte, chief legal officer of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, told ABS-CBN TeleRadyo that the following were recovered from different locations in the province during the simultaneous implementation of search warrants:
- three (3) grenades
- 10 short firearms
- six (6) M4 rifles
- 465 live ammunitions
- 22 assorted magazines
- 194 empty shells
“Wala pong lisensya (yung grenades). At kahit may lisensya yun, as early as January, ni-revoke na ang kaniyang (License to Own and Possess Firearm) at iba pang licenses and permits with regard to firearms,” Valmonte said.
“So, kung talagang ngayon meron siyang kini-keep na mga firearms and explosives, eh talagang bawal po,” he added.
The subjects of the search warrants are the residence of Teves where his two children live, in Malabugas, Bayawan City; the lawmakers’ two other properties in Basay City; and two other properties in Bayawan, each allegedly owned by a secretary of Teves and his close-in security staff, the police official said.
At the first property, Valmonte said he saw a grenade launcher, a hand grenade, two armalites, many live ammunitions and magazines.
Valmonte said the Firearms and Explosives Office of the PNP had previously directed Teves to return the firearms registered under him, which he complied with by returning 15. But three others have yet to be surrendered.
Teves is facing three murder charges before the Department of Justice for his alleged involvement in the killing of Negros Oriental Board Member Miguel Dungog and two others in 2019.
Teves' lawyer, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, said he is confident the lawmaker will be exonerated "only for the simple fact that he is innocent of these charges."
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla has said authorities are not excluding Teves from the investigation into the killing of his political rival Governor Roel Degamo last Saturday.
Eight other people died from the attack perpetrated by at least 6 gunmen inside Degamo's home in Pamplona municipality while he was meeting with his constituents. Seventeen people, including a doctor and two army soldiers, were also wounded, police said.
Teves said he and his clan has nothing to do with the crime.
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.