Police on Friday seized illegal firearms and ammunition from a compound allegedly owned by former Negros Oriental governor Pryde Henry Teves, an official of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said.
The compound is located at Barangay Caranoche in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental, CIDG legal officer Police Colonel Thomas Valmonte told GMA Regional TV.
"This operation is actually an implementation of a search warrant. This is for illegal possession of firearms...Nakapangalan po kasi ang compound kay [The compound was named to] Mr. Henry Pryde Teves," Valmonte said.
"Meron na po kaming nakita na mga firearms. Actually yung iba medyo, I don't know if you could say like weapons or high-powered, mahahaba kasi," he added.
(We already found some firearms. Actually some of them are, I don't know if you can consider them as high-powered, but they are long.)
Not less than 10 unlicensed firearms were found in the area, Valmonte said.
Pryde Henry Teves, who was not present when the police went to the compound, is the brother of suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr., who has been named respondent in a complaint filed in connection with several killings that occurred in the province in 2019.
Valmonte said the compound is a sugar mill called HDJ Bayawan Agri-Venture Corporation Tolong Compound. The search warrant, he said, was issued by an Executive Judge in Mandaue City on Thursday.
Valmonte also said the raid was part of the CIDG's operations against illegal firearms and not related to the controversies hounding Rep. Teves.
CIDG public information chief Police Lieutenant Colonel Marissa Bruno confirmed to reporters that a “search warrant for violation of Respublic Act 10591 was implemented at Tolong Sugar Milling Corp., Sta Catalina, Negros Oriental.”
She said they are still waiting for confirmation on the owner of the concerned property.
On March 10, police also raided the houses of Rep. Teves in Negros Oriental where illegal firearms were seized.
Rep. Teves' legal counsel, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, had earlier said the lawmaker does not own the firearms seized from his houses. According to him, Rep. Teves had surrendered the firearms that he owned after receiving information of a possible raid "as a precautionary measure."
Rep. Teves is also being linked to the March 4 killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo after arrested suspects claimed the assassination order came from a certain "Cong. Teves."
Rep. Teves, who is currently out of the country, has denied the allegation. He also appealed for "fairness" from authorities and for them to look at all angles in the killing of Degamo.
The Teveses have yet to comment regarding the latest police raid. —KBK, GMA Integrated News