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House serves Rep. Arnie Teves with suspension order

The House of Representatives on Thursday served Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, Jr. with the 60-day suspension order against him over his continued absence in congressional proceedings despite an expired travel authority.

House of Representatives Secretary General Reginald Velasco released the copy of Teves’ suspension order dated March 22, the day the House plenary unanimously voted to slap a 60-day suspension on Teves as recommended by the Committee Report 472 by the House ethics and privileges panel.

The copy showed that Teves’ office has already received the suspension order.

“This is to respectfully furnish your Honor with a copy of Committee Report No. 472 submitted by  the Committee on Ethics and Privileges re: the motu proprio investigation relative to Representative Arnolfo 'Arnie' A. Teves Jr.’s personal foreign trip to the United States of America with expired travel  clearance and his continued defiance to the orders of the House to return  to the country and perform his duties as House Member, pursuant to Section 7, Rule 1 of the Rules of the House of Representatives, which constitute disorderly behavior affecting the dignity, integrity and reputation of the House of Representatives,” the suspension order read.

The Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) earlier this month filed three murder complaints against Teves over killings carried out in 2019.

Teves has also been linked by some suspects to the March 4 assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

Teves has denied involvement in the crimes but has refused to return to the Philippines from an overseas trip.

Before his colleagues voted in favor of his 60-day suspension, Teves sought to have a talk with President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

“Gusto ko sana kayo makausap para makapag-explain ako sa inyo. Baka tawagan ko, baka puede kay Boss Anton, para makausap ko po kayo, Mr. President,” Teves said in a video posted on his Facebook page.

(I hope I can talk to you, Mr. President. Maybe through boss [Special Assistant to the President] Anton [Lagdameo].)

“Again, nirerespeto ko po kayo. Sana lang mapagbigyan niyo ako na makapagusap tayo. Kung kayo na ang humiling na umuwi ako, mas mahihirapan ako na humindi dahil mas may authority kayo makabigay ng proteksyon sa akin,” Teves added.

(I respect you, and I hope you can give me a shot. If you will be the one to ask me to come home, it would be hard for me to refuse because you have the authority to provide me protection.)

Teves also insisted that the government is not pursuing him due to the March 4 assassination of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, but because there are people in the government who wants him jailed on false charges.

He was referring to what he said in his January 12 press conference wherein he accused Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos of planning to raid his house and plant evidence against him. — BM, GMA Integrated News