Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Saturday urged suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. to give his testimony to any Philippine embassy or consulate in connection with the Senate’s investigation into the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
On April 17, the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee barred Teves from attending the probe into Degamo’s death virtually, citing a lack of jurisdiction and inter-parliamentary courtesy.
Dela Rosa, however, said Teves has the option to go to any Philippine embassy or consular office to testify since it satisfied the requirement of the committee that it have to be under the jurisdiction of the Philippine government.
“Ang takot niya mabunyag ang kanyang location baka raw siya mamatay. Turuan ko siya, ganito gawin mo, kung takot ka mabunyag location mo kung nasaan ka ngayon, ang mahalaga bigyan mo ng halaga yung pagbigay mo ng testimonya sa ginagawang hearing sa ating committee,” Dela Rosa said in a radio interview.
(He's afraid that his whereabouts will be discovered and that he'll be killed. I'll show him how to do it. The most important thing is that he should give priority to testifying at the committee hearing if he is concerned that his location may be revealed.)
“Then pumunta ka halimbawa kung nasa Cambodia siya ngayon, kung mayroon tayong consular office sa Cambodia pumunta siya dun, malapit naman ang Cambodia sa Thailand then pumunta siya sa Bangkok mayroon tayong embahada doon,” he said.
(If we have a consular office in Cambodia, he can go there, or he can travel to Thailand, which is a neighboring country. We have an embassy in Bangkok.)
"Then pagkatapos magtestify siya doon masabi niya lahat ng sasabihin officially under oath sa ating committee, then after that lumipad siya sa ibang bansa doon siya magtago para hindi siya malocate,” he added.
(After he testifies under oath before the committee, he can fly to another country and hide there so he won't be located.)
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla earlier said Teves appeared to be the main mastermind in the killing of Degamo last month.
Dela Rosa urged Teves to face the allegations.
“Kung may bayag siyang sumagot dyan sa media, may bayag din dapat siyang humarap sa Senado,” Dela Rosa said.
(If he had the guts to address the media, he should have more confidence to face the Senate.)
Teves, who is believed to be in Cambodia, has denied the accusations against him and appealed for fairness.
Next PNP chief
Meanwhile, Dela Rosa said he hopes the next Philippine National Police (PNP) chief is “capable of leading by example.”
“I just hope na yung mapili na papalit sa kanya ay masasabi natin talaga na the one who is capable leading by example. Hindi yung sinasabi mo lang ang gusto mong gawin pero hindi mo ginagawa,” he said.
(I just hope that the next PNP chief is one who is capable of leading by example, not by saying what you want to do but ending up not doing it.)
Dela Rosa served as then-President Rodrigo Duterte's first PNP chief and led the latter’s war on drugs until his retirement in 2018.
PNP chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., who is set to retire on April 24, has advised his successor “not to be afraid of who gets caught and who gets hurt.”
Azurin also said President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. should be careful when choosing the next PNP chief. —VBL, GMA Integrated News