Padilla advises Teves to defend himself amid accusations on Degamo slay
MANILA, Philippines — Defend yourself in view of accusations hounding the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, Senator Robin Padilla advised Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves on Friday.
Teves, who was tagged as the mastermind behind the killing of Degamo, is currently in the United States.
Degamo, along with eight other individuals, was assassinated in his residence in Pamplona town in the province on March 4.
“Mas maganda po ‘yan [Congressman] na harapin mo na. Kung ikaw po, pagkatapos n’yo po pagnilay-nilayan — alam ko po ngayon nag-iisip pa kayo, nagdedesisyon kayo,” Padilla said in a virtual press interview with reporters.
(Congressman, it is better to face it. After you contemplate — I know you are now thinking, deciding.)
“Ang panalangin po namin, pakiusap po namin, ang pakikisamo namin, dumating ang panahon na makauwi rin po kayo at ipagtanggol po ninyo ang sarili n’yo,” he added.
(Our prayer and appeal are for you to return to the Philippines and defend yourself.)
Padilla stressed that Teves is still innocent.
“Sa ngayon, inosente pa naman siya. Hindi pa naman dumadating ‘yung dumaan siya sa hearing o sa paglilitis. Kaya sa ngayon ibigay natin sa kanya ‘yun na siya inosente pa,” he said.
(As of now, he is still innocent. He has not reached a point where he is undergoing hearings or proceedings. Let us give it to him, he remains innocent.)
While advising, the senator shared his experience when he received a warrant of arrest, narrating that he went into hiding.
“Nung lumabas na ‘yung aking warrant of arrest, nagtago rin ako ng isa’t kalahating buwan. Umakyat pa nga ako ng bundok eh. Doon ko na-realize na kailangan kong harapin kung ano man ‘yung kaso,” he said.
(When the warrant of arrest against me was released, I also hid for one and a half months. I went to a mountain. There, I realized that I have to face whatever the case against me is.)
To recall, Padilla was convicted for illegal possession of firearms in 1994. He was sentenced to a maximum of eight years in prison.
He was detained in 1995 but was released in 1998 due to a conditional pardon granted by late President Fidel Ramos. In 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte granted him absolute pardon. – Denver Godezano, INQUIRER.net trainee
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