Speaker urges Teves to return home, face Degamo slay issue: We want to hear your side
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has called on Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. to return to the country as soon as possible and face the allegations linking him to the assassination of his political nemesis, Governor Roel Degamo.
Teves, currently in the United States, was named by suspects as the alleged mastermind of the brazen killing of Degamo and eight other individuals inside the local official’s residence in Pamplona town on Saturday, March 4.
The slain governor’s bereaved family points to politics as the attack’s principal motive.
“Makabubuti rin na umuwi si Cong. Arnie para harapin ang pagkakadawit ng pangalan ng kanilang pamilya sa pagkamatay ni Gov. Roel Degamo,” Romualdez said in a statement on Friday, March 10.
(It would be best for Cong. Arnie to face the accusations of his family’s role in killing Gov. Roel Degamo.)
He then noted that Teves’s authority to travel only covers Tuesday, February 28, to Thursday, February 9, which means he is no longer allowed by the lower chamber to be outside the country beyond the said period.
“We all want to hear his side of the story,” Romualdez said. “Maraming buhay ang nawala maliban kay Gov. Degamo. Umamin na ang mga nahuling salarin sa partisipasyon nila sa krimen. Hindi titigil ang pamahalaan para kilalanin at papanagutin ang mga nasa likod ng brutal na krimeng ito.”
(Many lives were taken, not just that of Gov. Degamo. The arrested suspects have admitted to their participation in the crime. The government will not stop until we find and hold responsible people behind this brutal crime.)
Teves and five others also face multiple charges over a series of killings in various parts of Negros Oriental in 2019.
He denied both the accusations for the 2019 killings and the Degamo slay.
The congressman’s legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio has also spoken up to urge those concerned “to observe sobriety in their pronouncements regarding the allegations against Teves.”