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Teves camp: Congressman does not own guns retrieved from his homes

The camp of Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves on Monday said the lawmaker does not own the firearms allegedly retrieved from his houses.

At the Pandesal Forum, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Teves’ lawyer, said Teves surrendered the firearms that he owned after receiving information of a possible raid.

“Ngunit, as a precautionary measure isinurrender po namin yung mga firearms ni Congressman Teves sa proper authorities,” Topacio said.

(But, as a precautionary measure, we surrendered Congressman Teves' firearms to the proper authorities.)

“The latest was three days ago. Ako personal nag surrender nung tatlong firearms sa residence niya in Quezon City doon sa nearest precinct as provided for by the guidelines sa pag own and possess ng firearms,” he added.

(I surrendered the three firearms he had in his Quezon City residence at the nearest precinct, as provided for in the guidelines of firearms ownership and possession.)

On Friday, elements of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) raided houses in Negros Oriental belonging to Teves in search of loose firearms.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos said the raid was connected to the complaints of murder and frustrated murder filed against Teves over allegedly being the mastermind of killings in 2019.

A tweet by Super Radyo dzBB's Mark Makalalad, citing the CIDG, said firearms, ammunition, and grenades were seized from one of Teves' homes. A caretaker was also arrested.

“Ikaw ba naman, hindi ka mang mang na tao, alam mo na re-raidin yung mga bahay mo, mag iiwan ka ba ng katakot takot na firearms and explosives? 'Di ba?” Topacio said.

(If it was you, and you aren't an ignoramus, you know that your house would be raided, would you leave a bunch of firearms and explosives? You wouldn't, right?)

“We made sure na wala nang mga firearms doon. Sinurrender na nga namin kasi alam namin re-raidin kami na nangyari na nga,” he added.

(We made sure that there were no firearms. We surrendered them because we knew there would be a raid, which did take place.)

Topacio also said the occupants of the houses were made to leave while cops implemented the search warrant.

“Dalawang waves ang team. ‘Yung una dumating in full battle gear, napakarami, ha, naka long arms, pumasok, inexclude nila lahat ng occupants ng mga bahay na pawang mga babae… at isang abogado,” he said.

(The teams came in two waves. The first one arrived in full battle gear, there were a lot of them with long arms. They came in, and they excluded the house's occupants, who were mostly women... and a lawyer.)

“Merong ebidensya na may dala-dala silang mga fully laden na mga bags, mga backpacks pagpasok. Hindi pa po ‘yun ‘yung search team,” he added.

(There is evidence that they had fully laden bags, backpacks when they came in. This wasn't even the search team.)


At the same forum, Teves’ legal camp said the lawmaker’s concern for his security is preventing him from returning immediately to the Philippines.

“So what is preventing Cong. Arnie from returning is basically ‘yung security to his safety,” Atty. Toby Diokno, one of Teves’ legal counsels.

Sought for his comment, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla assured Teves that he will be secured once he returns to the country.

“He will be secured. Hindi naman siya pababayaan. He will be secured,” Remulla said in an ambush interview.

More raids?

Meanwhile, Topacio said they also received “reliable information” that raids would also be conducted on the houses of former Bayawan City Mayor Pryde Henry Teves.

Topacio stressed that Arnie Teves is innocent.

“Hindi lang namin pinaninindigan na hearsay. Pinaninindagan namin walang kasalanan si Congressman Teves,” he said.

(We're not just asserting that this is hearsay. We are asserting that Congressman Teves is innocent.)

GMA News Online has sought comment from the Philippine National Police, but the PNP had yet to respond as of posting time.

“Ang hinihiling lang po namin is fundamental fairness. Kaya nga yung panawagan ko is a plea for sobriety. Wag muna tayo mag salita na kung ano-ano na para bang guilty yung mga subjects for investigation,” Topacio said.

(All we want is fundamental fairness. That's why I'm pleading for sobriety. Let's not talk about this and that, like the investigation subjects are guilty.) — DVM/RSJ, GMA Integrated News