Three people arrested during the raid on a compound allegedly owned by former Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves are set to file a complaint before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), a lawyer said Wednesday.
Atty. Michael Mella said Nigel Electona, Jeson Tintin, and Dionilo Mayagua Jr. told him they were being pressured by policemen to point to suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. and Pryde Henry as the ones who ordered them to bury firearms retrieved during the raid.
“Sinasabi nila sa akin na prine-pressure sila na aminin na ang mga armas, alleged firearms na na-recover during the raid last time, ang nag-utos daw na magbaon noon ay si Congressman Teves as well as yung kapatid niya na si Governor Pryde,” Mella said in an ambush interview.
(They told me that they were being pressured to admit that Congressman Teves and his brother Governor Pryde ordered them to bury the firearms recovered during the raid.)
“Hindi sila nagpa-pressure doon sa kanilang sa pressure na binibigay sa kanila and then upon my advice, I just asked them to remain silent,” he added.
(They did not submit to the pressure and I advised them to remain silent.)
Asked who was pressuring the three, Mella said he assumes it to be the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) as that is where they are detained.
GMA News Online has sought comment from the PNP-CIDG and the Department of the Interior and Local Government, but has yet to receive a response as of posting time.
Mella said they seek to file a complaint before the CHR “as soon as possible.”
“We will ask the family of Nigel as well as the other two respondents to go to CHR to convey their complaints about that kind of pressure and harassment. And as well as they’re lawyers, we will also make sure to expedite the process,” he said.
Mella said Electona told him that several "malicious" cases will be filed against him and the others.
“Pressure to file several malicious cases against them. Sabi nga mismo ni Nigel, sinasabi niya sa akin na sasampahan daw siya ng kung ano-anong kaso kung hindi makipag-cooperate,” he said.
(Nigel told me that they will file numerous cases if he does not cooperate.)
According to Mella, there was psychological and emotional pressure involved, adding that the three were once visited four times by policemen in one day.
Meanwhile, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, the lawyer of Arnie Teves, called on Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos to investigate the alleged pressure.
“Salamat po Secretary Abalos. God bless po at sana po tignan niyo ito. More than the mere denial. Syempre de-deny ‘yan ng mga pulis, ano. Sana tignan niyo po ito ng maayos at sinsero,” he said.
Mella, Topacio, and Atty. Roberto Diokno attended the resumption of the preliminary hearing at the Department of Justice on the complaint of illegal possession of firearms filed against Teves and Jose Guimarangan.
The CIDG said it submitted additional evidence during the hearing.
Meanwhile, Topacio said they will still look into whether they will file their counter-affidavits.
The next preliminary investigation will be held on April 14, 2023. —KBK, GMA Integrated News