MANILA (UPDATED) — Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. on Thursday insisted returning to the Philippines is not safe for him, citing threats to his life.
Without mentioning any names, the lawmaker told ANC there are 2 high-ranking government officials who are plotting to kill him.
"Opisyal ng gobyerno. Dalawa sila. Mataas na opisyal," he told "Headstart" when asked who wants to have him dead.
Teves Jr. claimed he got hold of the alleged kill order from someone. The embattled lawmaker refused to name names saying he might get charged with libel.
"Nung nag-order siya directly, dun siya nagkamali. Alam mo bakit? Nakalimutan nila lahat ng tao may kilala kahit saan eh. Walang usok na natatago. Nagle-leak 'yung impormasyon," he said.
He added, "Ang instruction niya, i-raid 'yung bahay ko, taniman, sabay may instruction pang latest. Huli ko nang nalaman na ang instruction pala barilin ako diretso dun sa bahay ko, sabihing lumaban."
TEVES: I WILL COME HOME IF...
Teves also revealed what would make him come home and face the allegations linking him to the murder of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo.
"'Pag nakita ko na may fairness, there is a sense of fairness, baka umuwi na ako, I might consider it," he said.
"Gustong-gusto ko na umuwi kung hindi lang dahil sa banta. Wala akong iniiwasang batas. I'm not evading anything dahil wala naman akong kaso eh."
Teves also took a swipe at the Senate investigation into Degamo's death, saying the inquiry is full of "hearsay"
"Katulad kahapon sa Senate hearing, nothing against Sen. [Ronald] Bato [Dela Rosa], kilala ko naman 'yan, kaibigan ko 'yan, akin lang, katulad kahapon, puro hearsay pero binibigyan nila ng weight," he said.
The lawmaker said the Senate panel invited a resource person who turned out to be a drug addict.
"They're painting a picture 'yung Negros Oriental lawless, lahat kinakakatakutan kami," he said.
But Dela Rosa, who chairs the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, slammed the embattled lawmaker's accusations that the marathon hearings were "unfair."
"We are doing our best to make this hearing very fair. In fact, 3 days na kaming naghi-hearing, hanggang gabi inaabot kami but gagawin ba namin ito just to be unfair?" Dela Rosa said.
"Ginagawa namin ito para maging fair sa lahat, in-entertain natin lahat ng resource persons provided by both the Degamo and Teves camps," he added.
Teves said he wants to speak to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as he intends to come home.
The Department of Justice previously said that Teves was considered one of the masterminds in the assassination of Degamo and 8 others.
The lawmaker said he and his clan had nothing to do with the crime.
Teves has yet to return to the country, more than a month since his travel clearance expired.
He was slapped with a 60-day suspension over his continued absence in Congress after being implicated in Degamo's murder.