DOJ probe on Teves’ involvement in Degamo slay could take 2-3 weeks
MANILA — The word war between suspended Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. and Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla intensified on Thursday with both sides trading barbs over a number of allegations regarding the investigation on the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
Teves, in a press conference Thursday morning, challenged Remulla to prove his claim that the lawmaker supposedly applied for citizenship in Timor-Leste.
“Secretary Remulla, kung napatunayan niyo na nag-apply ako ng citizenship sa Timor-Leste, uuwi ako, magpapabaril ako sa Pilipinas kung babarilin ako. Pero kung sinungaling ang sinabi mo na nag-apply ako ng citizenship sa Timor-Leste, magresign ka agad. Hindi dapat sa DOJ secretary na nagsisinungaling, much more to the public,” he said.
But Remulla disregarded Teves’ dare.
“I don’t have to prove anything here. Siya ‘yung kailangan niyang i-prove na kailangan niyang humarap sa charges,” he said.
The Justice chief also dismissed as “baloney” and “basura” the accusation coming from the Teves side that a Department of Justice (DOJ) official supposedly offered “tens of millions of pesos” to alleged co-mastermind Marvin Miranda.
Miranda is the only accused out of 11 who did not execute any statement. The 10 others have recanted their earlier allegations against Teves.
In the presscon Thursday morning, Teves also challenged Remulla to show how 6 assassins supposedly fit into a 5-seater chopper and how 13 people fit into a private plane.
Remulla earlier claimed Teves, with 12 others, flew on board a private plane from Singapore to Timor-Leste.
“Eto na lang ha. Umuwi na lang siya. Doon siya magpaliwanag sa korte, tsaka sa DOJ. Wag sa akin dito. Umuwi siya. Face the music. Ang dami niyang sinabi e. Kung matapang siya, dito siya umuwi. Dito siya magpaliwanag sa atin,” Remulla said.
Remulla challenged Teves instead to “face the music.”
“May subpoena siya. Dapat malaman ng taong bayan. Pinapatawag po siya ng mga alagad ng batas upang magpaliwanag sa mga krimen na ibinibentang sa kanya sa pagkamatay ng maraming tao. Ito po ang sagutin niya,” he said.
Prosecutors have issued a subpoena for Teves to attend the preliminary investigation into the Degamo killing at the DOJ on June 13, 2023 at 10 am.
A source within the DOJ said attempts to serve the subpoena were made at Teves’ office at the House of Representatives and at his address in Negros but no one was present to receive it in his Batasan office.
Remulla said the probe could take 2-3 weeks before a decision could be reached whether or not to file criminal charges in court.
Eleven other accused, including alleged co-mastermind Miranda, are already facing multiple murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder charges before a Manila court over the killing of Degamo and several others.
Remulla chided Teves over his antics online, posting videos on social media calling the Justice chief names.
“They’re trifling with the judicial process. Dapat igalang niya yung batas. We’re talking about the law here. We’re not talking about any social media controversy. Hindi ito kwentong social media. Ito po yung kwento ng buhay ng mga tao na pinatay nila ang pinag-uusapan dito. Hindi po ito kwentong social media. Baka akala nila nagbibiru-biruan dito. Hindi po. Hindi po ito video game. Yung CCTV picture na yun na may bumabaril na tao, may tao pong namatay doon. Saka yung mga kasong nakademanda sila, may mga tao pong namatay roon. Yun po yung harapin natin. Hindi po ito pwedeng i-trivialize na patawa-tawa sila. Wala siyang paggalang sa batas. Makikita nyo naman e,” he said.
“Humarap sila. Ba’t sila ganyan sila magsalita na ganun-ganun lang ang batas. Igalang nila ang batas. Di ba? Ano, porke’t congressman siya, sinasabi niya na hindi siya haharap sa batas? Anong problema niya, di ba?,” he added.
Teves is accused of masterminding the killing of Degamo, who unseated Teves’ brother, Pryde Henry Teves, as Negros Oriental governor in the 2022 polls.
Remulla claimed Teves was the executive producer while Miranda was the casting director behind the killings.