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Teves claims 2 ranking officials want him dead

Delon Porcalla - The Philippine Star
Teves claims 2 ranking officials want him dead
This photo shows Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr.
Congressman Arnie A. Teves / Facebook

MANILA, Philippines — Suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. yesterday said he wants to go home, but fears for his safety because two high-ranking government officials have hatched a plot to assassinate him.

“I really wanted to go home, but I could not because of these threats to my life. I’m not evading anything because there is no case against me,” he said.

“People’s lives are intertwined and almost everyone knows everybody. There is no secret that you can keep forever. The information has been leaked. The instruction is: raid my house and plant an incriminating evidence. Lately have I known there was a plot to kill me,” Teves alleged.

“Government officials, two of them. These are high-ranking officials,” he told a TV station.

Teves disclosed he got hold of the information from a friend, but refused to identify who were behind the plot, saying he might be sued for libel.

“As per my information, he ordered a direct assault against me. That’s where he committed a mistake,” he said.

Teves also hinted he may entertain the possibility of coming home to the country if he can be assured of a fair trial in the March 4 murder of governor Roel Degamo.

“When I see that there is a sense of fairness, I might go home. I might consider it,” he said rather ambiguously. “When it is safe enough,” he declared in a TV interview, complaining that government has been reviving cases against him.

Teves also lamented that he cannot expect any fairness from the government that has been portraying him as evil.

“They have been renewing many cases against me that have been dismissed a long time ago. I’m nervous now because I received information that people have already judged me guilty. It shouldn’t be like that,” Teves insisted, invoking his constitutionally-guaranteed innocence.

Teves also said the justice system is not fair. “Remember the son of Boying Remulla who was acquitted of the charges? There was no mug shot, there was even a news blackout, and then he was suddenly cleared of the drug charges,” he recalled.

“Now, my question is: why don’t they review the case of Boying Remulla’s son? It had a speedy turnout. He was suddenly acquitted. I don’t see the fairness in that. That’s unfair to the Filipino people,” he maintained.

“It seems that we are only fooling the people. Those who are really guilty have already been cleared of the charges, while those people who are innocent but who they consider as guilty are declared guilty already even if they don’t have any proof yet. It’s wrong,” Teves said.

Nonsense

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla is not convinced that government officials want Rep. Teves dead over e-sabong, saying the lawmaker’s claims were “nonsense” and he should just return home and face allegations.

“That’s nothing. That’s nonsense. Nine people died in Negros and he said what we’re doing (to get justice) is funny. What’s funny about that? Does the death of nine people and hurting 17 others just because one person ordered it sound funny? No, it’s not,” Remulla told reporters on Thursday.

Teves admitted in a television interview that he used to operate an e-sabong business and claimed that the officials who wanted to monopolize the business wanted to kill him.

He subsequently expressed his objection to the fact that multiple other cases against him were being reopened while Remulla’s son appeared to have had a swift trial for his drug possession offense.

Remulla dismissed Teves’ remarks about his son but said, “those who have something to hide will not come forward.”

Terrorist

The Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has made its first move toward designating congressman Teves as a terrorist over Degamo’s killing, Remulla said on Thursday, noting that he had already met some members of the ATC.

“We started already (the processing of his designation as a terrorist). I had a meeting this morning about it and another meeting this afternoon, and I asked some of my colleagues about it. Some members of the ATC,” Remulla told reporters.

Remulla did not disclose at what stage the ATC was in the process, but he earlier said proceedings for Teves’ designation would immediately begin as soon as charges over the March 4 incident are filed.

He confirmed that charges have yet to be filed, asking for the public’s patience. The justice secretary added that they would be pursuing Teves’ designation first and it would be followed by seeking the Court of Appeals for his proscription.

He also addressed Teves’ continued social media approach to the allegations and refusal to face them in proper forums like the investigations before the Department of Justice and in Congress.

“I will not dignify his (Teves) statements. People who have something to hide, run away from the law. The fact that he was using social media to fight this case means he does not respect the legal system of the country

and for that he may deserve the tag of terrorist more than anybody else,” he added.

Remulla said the National Bureau of Investigation would be the one to formally recommend Teves’ designation as a terrorist before the ATC.

Have pity

Despite being retired from the police service for several years, Sen. Ronald dela Rosa still got emotional discussing the lapses and infractions of some police officers and the negative impact on the Philippine National Police (PNP) as an organization.

Dela Rosa choked up as he delivered his closing statement on the third day of the Senate committee on public order on high-profile cases, including the assassination of Negros Oriental governor Degamo.

“Our organization is battered, our institution is battered, have pity on our organization,” said Dela Rosa, the chairman of the committee.

“These policemen, not just you who are here in front of me, all the policemen in the whole Philippines who are monitoring now, have mercy on the PNP, you change,” Dela Rosa said during the third day of the hearing that lasted for over 10 hours, with its continuation still under consideration.

The Senate panel also cited two policemen– Staff Sergeant Renevic Rizaldo and PSSgt. Noel Alabata – in contempt for allegedly lying during the hearing. – Neil Jayson Servallos, Cecille Suerte Felipe

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ARNOLFO TEVES JR.

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