Remulla says Teves 'complicit' in Degamo killing; solon's camp slams 'trial by publicity'


Posted at Mar 28 2023 07:31 PM

Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. gives a statement regarding alleged threats his camp discovered back in January. Courtesy of Arnolfo Teves Jr. Facebook page
Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. gives a statement regarding alleged threats his camp discovered back in January. Courtesy of Arnolfo Teves Jr. Facebook page

MANILA — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla on Tuesday said there were clear links tying Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. to the killing of the province's governor Roel Degamo.

"For the past few months leading to the March 4 incident in Pamplona, Negros Oriental and the witness account that we have, among them those who were involved in the crime itself just points out to the fact that he may have been very complicit of what happened," he told ANC's "Headstart".

Remulla also pointed out that the suspects stayed in what they called a safehouse provided by Teves.

"It was a place controlled by the Teves family where these armed men were staying, where they were recruited and were given jobs. They were already being asked to do things for the Teves kin and directing it through one of his trusted men was Arnie Teves," he said.

"When you use a place that definitely belongs to somebody being pinpointed as the mastermind, there's already a link," he added.

Remulla also accused Teves of running a criminal organization in Negros Oriental with dozens of killings linked to the lawmaker.

"It really gives you a creepy feeling that something was wrong out there, that the values of people were really affected by the money going around. There was so much money going around that it was already obscene to say the least," he said.

Remulla added that at this point Teves could be considered a fugitive even if he was not yet charged in Degamo's murder.

"When one is suspected of having committed a crime, he is already suspected, considered a fugitive if he does not show up. The actions would speak louder than words here. If not showing up, he's evading us or trying to evade the law," he said.

Teves, a scion of an influential political family in Negros, is already facing murder charges over the killing of Negros Oriental board member Miguel Dungog and several others in 2019.

He was also considered among the masterminds in Degamo's killing, the DOJ said this week. 

Gunmen stormed the governor's house in Pamplona town on March 4, killing Degamo and 8 others and wounding 16 more people.

The attack came after the Supreme Court declared Degamo the rightful winner of the contest for the Negros Oriental governorship following a recount that unseated his rival, who had previously been proclaimed victor.


On Tuesday, Teves' camp cried foul over what they described as "trial by publicity," following Remulla's statements.

"Who are these witnesses? What did they say?" Teves' legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio said. "All of these obliquities are obviously designed to prejudice the minds of the people against a person who has not even been charged in court for any offense, in a disingenuous attempt to demonize Cong. Teves and resort to trial by publicity. It is a conduct unseemly of a public official, especially one who is at the lead agency of for dispensing justice."

Topacio said this in response to queries from the media, following reports that witness accounts point to the suspended lawmaker being complicit in the crime.

Teves' lawyer also pushed back on allegations that his client is evading the law, noting he is participating in the preliminary investigation.

"What law? Are Remulla and Abalos the law now? Cong. Teves, through counsels, and fully participating in the one and only preliminary investigation against him, and to fully participate in future proceedings. The last time I looked at the Constitution, every citizen has the right to remain silent and his silence should not be construed against him, and that he has a right to an attorney.

"To repeat, there are no warrants against Cong. Teves from which he is fleeing, and thus at present he should not, in strictissimi juris, be considered as a fugitive," Topacio said.

Teves' camp likewise objected to allegations linking him to suspects whom Remulla claimed stayed at a safehouse owned by the congressman.

"What does 'controlled' even mean? It would appear that the good Secretary at this point is uncertain of himself, as evinced by his use of the words 'may', 'possible', and others that denote doubt and lack of conviction.

"Which brings me to my point: build up a case, get credible evidence, and then file a criminal complaint so that we may respond, instead of indulging in a juridical striptease where pseudo-facts are dropped one by one to obfuscate the issue," Topacio said.

Responding to Remulla's statement alleging that Teves runs a "criminal organization," Topacio answered: "Again, I repeat what the Supreme Court had already said: 'accusation is not synonymous with guilt.' If they have the evidence, then let them be examined in the cold light of a preliminary investigation and later on by the courts. In the interregnum such useless pronouncements generate nothing but noise."

— with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

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