Prosecutors of the DOJ granted the request of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and the respondents to extend the deadline for the submission of necessary documents, lawyers said Wednesday.
This came following the first preliminary probe on the complaint of illegal possession of firearms and explosives filed against Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, Jose Guimarangan, and others.
“Umappear lang po kami, na meet namin syempre yung mga kinatawan ng CIDG. Sila po ay humingi ng isang linggo para mag-present ng karagdagang ebidensya,” Topacio said in an ambush interview.
(We just appeared and we met the officials of the CIDG. They asked for one week to present their evidence.)
“Humingi rin kami ng dalawang linggo naman after that one week para makapag sumite ng aming ebidensya. So yun lang naman po. Everything was cordial and it went on uneventfully,” he added.
(We also asked for two weeks to submit our evidence. So that’s all. Everything was cordial and it went on uneventfully.)
Meanwhile, Atty. Mike Melia, the lawyer of Guimarangan, said the next preliminary investigation is set on March 29 and on April 14.
The CIDG on March 15 filed complaints for illegal possession of firearms against Teves and his two sons after authorities retrieved firearms, ammunition, and grenades from one of Teves' homes in a raid.
Complaints were also filed against six people who were arrested during the raids, including Teves’ secretary, Hanna Mae Oray.
The raids were connected to the complaints for three counts of murder the CIDG filed against Teves for allegedly masterminding killings in 2019. Teves’ camp said the lawmaker will face all allegations against him.
Topacio has said that the lawmaker does not own the firearms allegedly retrieved from his house.
Meanwhile, Topacio said their camp was also saddened that Teves “was deprived of his right to due process” after the House Committee on Ethics and privileges panel supposedly refused to allow Teves to attend the hearing through video teleconference.
“Ang kinalulungkot lang namin he was deprived of the right to due process and by the disallowance of his offer to explain himself by video teleconferencing. Sana lang daw napagbigyan siya. Wala naman mawawala sana kung nag video teleconferencing siya,” he said.
The panel on Tuesday wrapped up its investigation on Teves’ continued absence from the chamber.
Teves has refused to return to the country at this time, saying he fears for his safety. — Joahna Lei Casilao/RSJ, GMA Integrated News