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Arnie Teves' camp asks House to lift suspension vs. lawmaker

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnold “Arnie” Teves, Jr. is asking his colleagues in the House of Representatives to lift the 60-day suspension imposed against him, saying the threats against his life and his family did not always come with physical proof.

Teves' legal counsel Atty Ferdinand Topacio, in a letter to the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges,  said that the threat Teves conceives falls under “unavoidable circumstances which prevent his physical presence in the sessions of the House, hence, an exempting circumstance under Sec.71, Rule IX of its Rules.” 

“A belief that one’s life is threatened does not always come with demonstrable proof. It could be [a threat] by inference from circumstances that are not susceptible to tangible proof, as in this case," Topacio said.

"Yet, everyone has a right to be cautious about the threats he perceives against his life," he added.

The House of Representatives last week voted to suspend Teves for 60 days over his absence amid criminal complaints in connection with killings in 2019.

He is also being linked to the killing of Negros Oriental Rep. Roel Degamo.

Topacio said there was no intention on Teves' part to refuse to discharge his duties as a member of the House.

“With these, and the expressed intention and standing commitment of Representative Teves to participate in the sessions, there is no refusal to discharge his duties nor disrespect the authority and dignity of the Honorable Congress," Topacio said.

"It is, thus, most respectfully prayed that the said suspension be lifted and Rep. Teves be allowed to participate in the sessions and discharge his duties as a member of Congress, virtually in the meantime,” he added. —NB, GMA Integrated News