Romualdez tells Teves in phone call: Go home, report for work
MANILA, Philippines — House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez talked with Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. through a phone call, in which the House leader reiterated the latter’s need to return home and report for work.
Romualdez, in a statement shared by his office on Tuesday, said that Teves fears that he and his family would not be safe, which is why the lawmaker has not returned from his medical trip to the United States (US).
Teves, who has been accused of being the brains behind the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, has been away for medical treatment. He has denied any involvement in the attack.
“Cong. Arnie Teves got in touch with me through a phone call last night from an undetermined location. He expressed fear for the safety of his person and his family, saying this is the reason why he refuses to return home at this time,” Romualdez said.
“I assured him that the Speaker, as the political and administrative leader of the House of Representatives, will exert all efforts to ensure the personal safety of all Members. In fact, I have ordered the House Sergeant-at-Arms to coordinate with law enforcement agencies and prepare appropriate security arrangements for his return,” he added.
However, Romualdez reiterated to Teves that he no longer has the authority to travel abroad, as the permit he secured from the House was only from February 28 to March 9.
“Pero inulit ko rin kay Cong. Arnie, he needs to go home and report for work immediately as he no longer has the authority to travel outside the country. Gusto rin naming marinig sa Kongreso ang panig niya,” he said.
(But I reiterated to Cong. Arnie, needs to go home and report for work immediately as he no longer has the authority to travel outside the country. We at Congress also want to hear his side.)
“Kung may kaso man siyang kailangang harapin, dapat niya itong harapin. Dito sa loob ng bansa, at hindi sa labas,” he added.
(If there is a case that he needs to face, he should face it. Here in the country and not outside.)
On Monday, Teves’ legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio revealed they are trying to contact Romualdez’s office as the beleaguered lawmaker only has information for the Speaker’s ears.
This was after Romualdez urged Teves to return home, report for work, and face the accusations against him.
Afterward, Romualdez released a statement saying that he had not heard from Teves, reiterating his advice that the latter fly back to the Philippines.
Romualdez also assured on Monday that the Philippine National Police (PNP) officials have already vowed to provide security to Teves should he return from the US.
Teves was tagged by the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) – Degamo as the brains behind the attack on Degamo. Several suspects arrested pointed to a certain “Congressman Teves” as the mastermind.
Teves had denied accusations against him — including claims that he was behind a series of killings in the province last 2019. Topacio, on the other hand, called for sobriety regarding allegations against his client, as the lawmaker will face these at the proper time.