Teves still unlikely to appear on Monday deadline: lawyer

Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2023 06:24 PM

MANILA -- Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. is unlikely to surface on Monday, the deadline set by the House of Representatives to report for work, the lawmaker’s legal counsel said. 

House Speaker Martin Romualdez earlier gave Teves until March 20 to come back from overseas, as his request for a two-month leave of absence has been denied.

Teves’ legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio confirmed to Teleradyo that they received a correspondence that he has to show up before the House Speaker’s Office by March 20 and explain his absence notwithstanding his lack of travel authority. 

“I doubt kung maga-appear po siya. I doubt it very much,” Topacio said via telephone interview, insisting that there are security concerns. 

Teves is facing criminal complaints and is linked to the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. 

He earlier said his clan had nothing to do with the assassination of Degamo, who unseated the lawmaker’s brother as governor after an election dispute. 

Topacio said he has advised Teves to personally face charges, but his legal team will represent him for now.

The next preliminary investigation on the criminal complaints filed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in relation to the seizure of illegal firearms and explosives from his properties is scheduled on March 22.

“I will always advise that he should face the charges if there are charges already. Sa ngayon, titingnan pa po kung may probable cause. Ibig sabihin, titingnan pa po ng ating mga prosecutors kung may dahilan na magsampa ng charges,” Topacio said. 

“In view of all the reckless accusations na para bagang guilty na siya, hindi pa nga po nagu-umpisa, next week pa nga po magu-umpisa… He’s not hiding from the law because hindi pa siya hinahanap ng batas,” he added. 

Topacio said Teves would rather face the administrative sanctions by the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges over his continued absence from work rather than face the supposed security threats to his life. 


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