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Raps filed vs Teves secretary, 5 others arrested during raids —CIDG

Complaints have been filed against six people who were arrested during last week's raids on houses of Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. and his relatives in the province, police said Tuesday.

In a statement, the Philippine National Police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG) said among the arrested was Teves' secretary identified as Hannah Mae Sumerano Oray.

The raids were conducted at five different addresses in Basay and Bawayan City in Negros Oriental last Friday, March 10, 2023.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos earlier said the police conducted the raids in search of illegal firearms.

"Following the said operation, on Sunday (March 12, 2023), the CIDG presented the arrested persons for inquest proceedings before the State Prosecutors of the Department of Justice," the CIDG said.

Criminal complaints for violations of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act (RA 10591) and the Law on Explosives (RA 9516) were filed against Jose Pablo Gimarangan and Roland Aguisanda Pablio, "in which Cong. Teves, Jr. is also impleaded as respondent," it said.

On the other hand, complaints for infringement of RA 10591 were filed against Hannah Mae Oray, Heracleo Sangasin Oray, Rodolfo Teves Maturan, and Joseph Kyle Catan Maturan.

All were arrested and placed in CIDG custody. Later on Wednesday, Teves' secretary Oray was released, according to a 24 Oras update.

"Unfortunately, Congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr., Kurt Mathew Teves, and Axel Teves were not around during the said implementation of the [search warrants] in their houses," the CIDG said.

"[H]owever, the criminal complaints against them for violation of RA 10591 and RA 9516 will be filed as soon as possible," it added.

Representative Teves is currently out of the country. He has been named respondent in a complaint filed by the CIDG in connection with several killings in Negros Oriental in 2019.

"Dahil may mga na recover po na mga loose firearms and explosives dun mismo sa bahay po nila. Kung matapos po nila yung documentation today, I understand they are ready to file the necessary cases po against Congressman Teves at dalawa po niyang anak,” PNP spokesperson Police Colonel Jean Fajardo said in Marisol Abdurahman’s “24 Oras” report on Tuesday.

(We recovered loose firearms and explosives right there in their house. If they finish the documentation today, I understand they are ready to file the necessary cases against Congressman Teves and his two children.)

“They were not there at the time of the implementation of the search warrant so sila ay [they are] at large, considered at large,” CIDG legal division Police Colonel Thomas Valmonte said.

However, Teves' legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio did not disclose the current location of the congressman, who is on medical leave from Congress.

“Ang pumipigil lamang kasi sa kanya yun nga pong intel na may banta sa kanyang kaligtasan pati na sa kanyang mga pamilya,” Topacio said.

(The only thing stopping him from coming home is information that there are threats to his and his family's safety.)

Speaker Martin Romualdez said Teves refused to come home as he feared for his and his family's safety.

Romualdez also renewed his call for Teves to come home and face the complaints against him.

Fajardo, meanwhile, said that the PNP was willing to provide Teves with security as soon as he arrived in the Philippines from the United States.

“The PNP is willing and ready to provide him security pati yung kanyang pamilya [and his family],” Fajardo said.

Meanwhile, Oray's sister sought help from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) due to allegations that the police violated her civil liberties.

“Yun pong pag-raid nila sa bahay namin is parang hindi na rin po tama dahil yung search warrant po ay nakapangalan lang sa isang 'alyas Hannah Mae,’” said Oray's sister, Hazel Sombrano.

(They raided our house, which was improper because the search warrant was addressed to an "alias Hannah Mae.")

The Supreme Court on Tuesday announced that it had granted the transfer of the Degamo killing cases to the Manila Regional Trial Court.

Police pressure

Meanwhile, in a television interview on Tuesday Topacio said police are pressuring Oray to testify against the congressman.

"One of those arrested during the raid, a woman by the name of Hannah Mae is now complaining to us that she's been pressured and threatened with physical abuse by the police in order to force her to testify against Congressman Teves," Topacio told CNN.

GMA News Online has reached out to the CIDG and the PNP for comment but they have yet reply as of posting time. Oray, however, was eventually released on Wednesday.

At a media forum on Monday, Topacio said Teves does not own the firearms allegedly retrieved from his houses.

Topacio said Teves had surrendered the firearms that he owned after receiving information of a possible raid. — Richa Noriega/DVM/KBK/BM, GMA Integrated News