Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa believes suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. has no intention of going back to the Philippines and face the charges filed against him.
Dela Rosa, chairman of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee, issued this reaction upon learning from the Department of Foreign Affairs that Teves failed in his bid to get political asylum in Timor Leste.
Teves is considered one of the possible masterminds in the March 4 killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and several others. The congressman, who left the Philippines for the United States in March, has maintained that he and his clan had nothing to do with the assassination.
"Hindi ko rin masabi kung he was there all the time. Baka kahapon lang s'ya dumating dun at mag-seek ng asylum. Hindi natin alam what’s on his mind.. And seeking asylum for what? Yung political reasons lang naman ang pwedeng i-grant, political asylum, hindi criminal asylum. I don’t know paano nya (Teves) ma-justify. Kaya nga siguro na-deny. Baka hindi nya ma-justify,” dela Rosa told ABS-CBN News.
Asked if such action indicates Teves' intention not to go home, dela Rosa said: "Wala talaga, wala talaga... just like mga previous people in the same situation with him. Maghihintay na lang na after this administration saka mag-surface.”
Teves’s continued refusal to come home and surrender gives a negative impression to the people, the senator said.
He said Teves' decision to hide will have repercussions.
"Lalo na pag lumabas yung warrant nya. Paliit ng paliit yung kanyang mundo. Then again, kahit gaano kaliit, kung desidido siya to take his chances of not going home, he can do it. Diskarte n'ya 'yan," he said.
Dela Rosa first conducted an executive session Wednesday, before opening the panel’s 4th public hearing on the series of killings of local executives.
Those who participated in the executive session are the Degamo camp led by Mayors Janice Degamo and Mayor Fritz Diaz, NBI, AFP and PNP and Anti-Money Laundering Council or AMLC officials.
“Meron lang daw silang ipe-present sa committee na hindi nila pwedeng i-present dun sa hearing,” dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa said he is hoping to conclude his panel’s investigation before writing his chairman’s committee report which he will report out to the plenary afterwards.