MANILA — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla on Monday assured Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. of his safety following claims of security threats.
“He would be secured, 'di namin siya pababayaan. He will be secured,” he told reporters at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
(We won't neglect him.)
One of Teves' lawyers, Atty. Toby Diokno, earlier told Pandesal Forum that the lawmaker was facing security concerns which prevented him from returning to the Philippines from a trip to the United States.
Diokno cited the revocation of Teves’ license to own and possess firearms, his inclusion as a respondent in the multiple murder raps before the DOJ over a series of killings in 2019, and the recent raid on his properties which allegedly yielded weapons.
“Kahit siguro sino man sa atin dito, madaling magsabi 'hoy bumalik ka,' pero kung alam mo ang kinakaharapan mo eh talagang delikado ang iyong security ay mag-iisip ka rin, mag-iisip ka rin. Madaling magsabi umuwi pero 'pag alam mo na ayan ang hinaharap sayo at ayan ang pinaghahandaan sayo — not because you do not want to answer for the baseless accusations — but it’s actually more of security,” Diokno said.
(It's easy to tell anyone, 'Hey, come back.' But if you know that your security is at risk, you will think twice.)
But Remulla did not confirm if Teves or his brother, unseated Negros Oriental Gov. Pryde Henry Teves, whom the late Governor Roel Degamo replaced, are considered masterminds in Degamo's killing.
Specifically for Pryde Henry Teves, Remulla said they "still have no evidence yet."
Teves' lawyer, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, alleged that the firearms seized from the raids in Teves' properties were planted.
Remulla added that he "cannot comment about what an advocate, a paid advocate is saying."