Cebu News

Compound owned by ex-gov Henry Pryde Teves: CIDG seizes cache of guns

Romeo D. Marantal - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — Operatives of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) seized at least 10 unregistered firearms from a compound allegedly owned by former Negros Oriental governor Pryde Henry Teves Friday morning.

Authorities swooped down on Tolong Compound at Barangay Caranoche in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental based on a search warrant issued by the executive judge of the Regional Trial Court in Mandaue City for violation of Republic Act 10591 or illegal possession of firearm.

"This operation is actually an implementation of a search warrant. This is for illegal possession of firearms...Nakapangalan po kasi ang compound kay Mr. Henry Pryde Teves," Col. Thomas Valmonte, CIDG legal officer, said.

Pryde Henry Teves is the brother of suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr., who has been tagged as mastermind in the Pamplona massacre that killed Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and eight others and one of the respondents in a criminal complaint filed in connection with several killings that occurred in the province in 2019.

Pryde Henry was declared winner in the last gubernatorial race against Degamo but was unseated after the Commission on Election (Comelec) ruled in favor of the latter in his election protest.

Valmonte, however, clarified that the raid was not related to the controversies involving the suspended congressman. He said it was part of the CIDG's flagship program against illegal firearms known as “Oplan Paglalansag.”

Members of the raiding team also did not find former governor Teves in the compound. However, a cache of unregistered firearms was recovered including several rounds of ammunition for shotgun, M14, 9mm, caliber .45, and caliber 5.56.

Valmonte said they are also looking into information that several firearms had been buried in the compound. According to Valmonte, there were houses within the sugar mill compound that allegedly served as hideouts.

"Mga bahay po, base on informants, ito yung tinataguan ng mga inuotusan," said Valmonte.

Expulsion sought

Meanwhile, the wife of slain governor Degamo has asked the House of Representative to expel Rep. Teves Jr.

In a 61-page letter received by the Office of Speaker Martin Romualdez on Wednesday afternoon, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo sought Rep. Teves’ expulsion as member of the House of Representatives.

“The investigation of the killing of my husband and others are still underway, however, the totality of the evidence at hand against Congressman Teves shows that he has failed to conduct himself accordingly as a member of Congress,” the letter stated.

The mayor alleged that the congressman was also involved in “unsolved killings” related to “politics and greed for power.”

She also accused Teves of involvement in illegal gambling activities and having unexplained wealth, among others.

Last Wednesday, the House had unanimously approved the recommendation of the Committee on Ethics and Privileges to impose a 60-day suspension on Teves for “disorderly conduct.”

Teves has been on absence without official leave since March 9 when his authority to travel abroad has expired. (FREEMAN)

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