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Murder charges filed vs. Arnie Teves for Degamo killing, DOJ says

The Department of Justice said on Saturday that charges of murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder have been filed against expelled lawmaker Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. for the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

The DOJ said it is expecting an arrest warrant to be issued against Teves over killings in 2019 and the death of Degamo, according to a Super Radyo dzBB report by Luisito Santos.

"I haven't seen the DOJ resolution yet. May I reserve my comment until I've read it?" Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Teves' legal counsel, told GMA News Online when asked for comment.

At the Saturday News Forum, DOJ spokesperson Atty. Mico Clavano said the prosecutor filed charges against Teves before the Manila Regional Trial Court two Fridays ago for the Degamo slay case.

“Cases for murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder have been filed against Arnolfo Teves Jr. two Fridays ago, before the RTC of Manila as far as the Degamo cases are concerned,” he said.

Meanwhile, charges for murder allegedly committed in 2019 were filed against Teves in Bayawan, Negros Oriental last week.

However, the DOJ is seeking the transfer of the cases to Manila, Clavano added.

“As for the 2019 murder cases are concerned, the cases have been filed already in Bayawan, but we are seeking the transfer of those cases to Manila para lahat dito gagawin (so that it will all be held here),” he added.

The 2019 case stemmed from the deaths of Michael Dungog, a former board member in the third district of Negros Oriental; Lester Bato, a bodyguard for Basay mayoralty candidate Cliff Cordoval; and Pacito Libron, an alleged hitman.

In response, Teves’ camp said that they were not surprised by the government's decision to press charges, reiterating that the proceedings before the DOJ were "reduced to nothing more than moro-moro.''

Degamo and five others were killed when armed men fired shots while the official was distributing aid at his residence in Pamplona, Negros Oriental on March 4.

Initial investigation revealed that six suspects wearing pixelized uniforms and carrying long firearms shot Degamo, who was entertaining beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) program at his residence in Barangay San Isidro.

The House of Representatives on August 16 voted to expel Teves for disorderly conduct and his continued absence despite an expired travel authority.

READ: TIMELINE: Degamo killing and murder raps vs. Arnie Teves

 —KG/VBL, GMA Integrated News