Ethics panel to make Teves explain absence from House despite expired travel authority
MANILA, Philippines — The House committee on ethics and privileges will ask Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. to explain why he has not returned from abroad and reported to work despite his lapsed travel authority.
Panel head COOP-NATCCO Party-list Rep. Felimon Espares said they will send a letter to Teves this week to inquire about why he has not come home from his medical trip in the United States as well as his nonattendance in the House of Representatives.
Espares said they will give Teves five days to answer the letter.
“I think five days is enough for him to reply, or might be, baka umuwi siya dito. ‘Yon lang ang ating request (or maybe he has come home here. That is our request),” he told reporters in an ambush interview after committee members held a meeting to discuss Teves’ expired authority to travel and supposed refusal to return to the Philippines.
READ: House panel to tackle Teves expired travel authority, refusal to return to PH
Should Teves fail to give his response to the panel’s letter after five days, Espares said they will still give him ample time to reply as he vowed that they will exercise due process on this matter.
“So might be, that’s another thing, may due process naman tayo (we have a due process here), so might be we will give ample time para makasagot (for him to answer) […] After five days we might have another meeting,” the House committee on ethics and privileges chair said.
“Of course, I will exert my effort with him, mag-explain din with this committee, pero ang una talaga nating panawagan sa kanya is harapin niya ang mga sinasabi dito na mga parang allegations […] So kung kaya sana, talagang mag-report siya dito sa House to explain to the Speaker physically — ‘yon ang the best para tapos na rin tayo sa diskusyon,” he added.
(Of course, I will exert my effort with him, to have him explain to this committee, but our primary call is for him to face the allegations […] So if he can, the best course of action is to report at the House and explain to the Speaker physically — that’s the best so discussions would end.)
Teves is being linked to the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others last March 4. He has denied any involvement in the incident.
READ: Negros Oriental governor shot dead inside his house
Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez gave Teves an authority to travel from February 28 to March 9. Teves’ lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio on March 13 said his client is still in the United States for a stem cell procedure.
Teves ready to return to PH, face accusations but…
Teves tagged as alleged mastermind in Degamo slay
Comelec calls for calm as it invalidates win of Negros Oriental governor
Romualdez tells Teves in phone call: Go home, report for work
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.