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Teves says alleged Degamo 'mastermind' was his former bodyguard

Suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. on Thursday confirmed that Marvin Miranda, one of the alleged masterminds behind the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, used to be his bodyguard.

Teves, however, emphasized that it's been a while since he last talked to Miranda. 

“Sa totoo lang, dati kong bodyguard ‘yan. Pero matagal na kaming hindi nag— matagal nang umalis sa akin ‘yan eh,” Teves said in an interview on Balitanghali. 

(Honestly, he was previously my bodyguard. But we have not talked— he has left my service a long time ago.)

In March, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla bared that Miranda was nabbed by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation after fleeing from Negros Oriental.

The Justice Secretary had said that Teves appears to be the mastermind behind the assassination, likening him to an “executive producer” and Miranda to a “director or casting director.”

Remulla also previously said that he was referring to Miranda when he said one of the suspects in the assassination had a video call with the mastermind.

“Kaya nga kanina tinanong ako, nag usap daw kami, may video daw, sabi ko, ha? Kung may video sila edi dapat nilabas nila, diba? Again, ang dali mag turo,” Teves said.

(I was asked earlier if we talked and that there was a video, I said, what? If there is a video, they should release it, right? Again, it's easy to point fingers.)

Teves has denied any involvement in Degamo's killing. 

Meanwhile, he said he last talked with his brother, former Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves, a few weeks or a few days ago.

Remulla had said he met with Pryde Henry before the Holy Week but refused to comment on whether there is evidence linking him to Degamo's killing.

Degamo and eight others were killed while several others were injured after an attack at the governor's home in Negros Oriental on March 4 while distributing aid to his constituents.

Arnie Teves has refused to come back to the Philippines amid supposed threats to his life. But he said he may come home if it's "safe enough"

The DOJ, meanwhile, will seek to designate Arnie Teves as a terrorist to force him to surrender to authorities, a move the lawmaker found funny—VAL, GMA Integrated News.