Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, widow of slain Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, said on Sunday she had appealed to Congress to have Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. dismissed as a member of the House of Representatives.
Interviewed on Super Radyo dzBB, Mayor Degamo also backed the call of some legislators for Teves to return to the Philippines to defend himself, particularly on allegations linking him to the killing of the governor.
“Meron pa po kaming ibang sinusulong sa Kongreso (We are pushing other matters in the Congress). I have signed already a petition to expel him from Congress,” she said.
“Sana suportahan din ng Kongreso 'yung amin talagang nire-request na (I hope Congress will support our request that) he be expelled from the Congress,” she added.
Two arrested suspects, Joric Labrador and Benjie Rodriguez, both former soldiers, had said a certain “Cong Teves” ordered the hit on the late Governor Degamo, who was killed at his residence in Pamplona town on March 4. The attack also left eight other people dead.
Teves denied that he and his brother Henry were involved in the killing of Degamo amid allegations that the incident was politically motivated. The Teveses are political rivals of the Degamo family.
Teves was cleared to leave the Philippines for a personal trip to the United States from February 28 to March 9 but asked Speaker Martin Romualdez to grant him a two-month leave of absence “due to a very grave threat" to his and his family's lives.
The House Committee on Ethics and Privileges would hold another hearing on Monday to discuss Teves' fate as a House member after he failed to return to the Philippines after his travel clearance expired.
Mayor Degamo said she believed that her husband's police security escorts, who were supposedly absent during the incident, had nothing to do with the murder.
She refuted rumors that the police officers were given an order not to go to work. The mayor also said she had no hard feelings for the policemen.
She also said that four of these police security escorts had been called to Manila for an investigation, but they were dismissed the same day.
“I know kasi they were handpicked by my husband. ‘Yung isa relative… Close din talaga ‘yung mga guwardiya ni Roel sa kanya,” she said.
(Roel's guards were really close to him.)
Speaker Martin Romualdez last week called for a House inquiry into the alleged failure of five out of six police security personnel assigned to Degamo to report for duty on March 4, the day he was killed. — DVM, GMA Integrated News