Home > News Michael Joe Delizo, ABS-CBN News Mar 19, 2023 18:24
MANILA — Negros Oriental 3rd District Assemblyman Arnolfo Teves Jr. is likely to show up on Monday, the deadline set by the House of Representatives, to report for work, the lawmakers’ legal adviser said.
House Speaker Martin Romualdez previously gave Teves until March 20 to return from abroad after his request for a two-month leave of absence was denied.
Teves’ legal adviser Ferdinand Topacio confirmed to Teleradyo that they have received correspondence saying he has until March 20 to appear before the House Speaker’s office and explain his absence despite his lack of travel authorization.
“I doubt that Kung Maga po Siya will appear. I very much doubt it,” Topacio said via phone interview, insisting there were safety concerns.
Teves faces criminal charges linked to the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
He previously said his clan had nothing to do with the killing of Degamo, who unseated the lawmaker’s brother as governor following an election dispute.
Topacio said he advised Teves to file charges in person, but his legal team will represent him for now.
The next preliminary investigation into Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) criminal charges related to the seizure of illegal firearms and explosives on his property is scheduled for March 22.
“I will always point out that if there are already charges, he should face the charges. Sa ngayon, titingnan pa po kung may be probable cause. Ibig sabihin, titingnan pa po ng ating mga prosecutors kung may dahilan na magsampa ng charges,” Topacio said.
“In the face of all the reckless allegations na para bagang guilty na siya, hindi pa nga po nagu-umpisa, next week pa nga po magu-umpisa … He is not hiding from the law because hindi pa siya hinahanap ng batas,” he added .
Topacio said Teves would rather face administrative sanctions from the House Ethics and Privileges Committee for his prolonged absence from work than face the alleged security threats to his life.