Filtered By: Topstories

Arnie Teves to virtually attend Senate probe on Degamo slay, says Bato

Suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. has committed to attend the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee investigation into the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said Thursday.

“He has confirmed [his attendance],” Dela Rosa said in an ANC interview.

“He has made his commitment through his secretary, communicating with my committee secretariat that he is going to attend virtually during the hearing.”

Dela Rosa, the chairman of the panel, reiterated that the Senate cannot cite Teves in contempt as the latter is an incumbent member of the House of Representatives and thus deserves to be given inter-parliamentary courtesy.

For the senator, Teves’ confirmation to attend the Senate probe is a “good sign” and “it’s very important for the committee to get his side” on the accusations linking him to Degamo’s assassination.

“Siguro gagamitin niya itong avenue para yung side niya rin marinig ng publiko. And that is a good sign, if he wants to attend our probe,” he said.

“No problem with me (if he will clear his name). He can do everything he wants to say. I am there to control the proceedings of the hearing. So kung gagamitin niya yung committee hearing ko for grandstanding or whatever, I’m there to control, I’m there to moderate everything,” he added.

In a separate interview with Senate reporters, Dela Rosa  said he will allow Teves and Degamo’s widow, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, to confront each other but they have to follow parliamentary rules where they have to address the chairman of the panel in asking questions.

"Well to a certain degree [I will allow it], but their communication has to be addressed to me," Dela Rosa said.

Dela Rosa said Janice Degamo has already confirmed her attendance to the Senate probe, which is set for April 17. Meanwhile, Teves' brother, Pryde Henry Teves, has declined the committee's invitation.

Pryde Teves was proclaimed as the winner of the 2022 gubernatorial race in Negros Oriental. However, the Commission on Elections later on ruled that Degamo is the official governor after it declared a certain “Ruel Degamo” as a nuisance candidate. This paved the way for the transfer of the votes for the latter to the slain governor.

The Comelec's decision was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said he expects Rep. Teves to "behave properly" as they respect his position as member of the House of Representatives. Should he become "unruly," Dela Rosa said they could turn off his camera or cut his line.

In a recent interview with Dela Rosa, he assured Teves’ camp that the Senate probe into the spate of political killings and attacks in Negros Oriental, which includes Degamo’s killing, won’t turn into a “kangaroo court.”

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla last week said Teves appears to be the main mastermind in the killing of Degamo.

Teves, who is believed to be in Cambodia, has denied the accusations against him and appealed for fairness. —KBK, GMA Integrated News