Teves asks for audience with Marcos: If it’s you who’ll ask me to go home, I might do so
MANILA, Philippines — Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves has sought an audience with President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., saying that he might be compelled to return home if the President himself makes such a request.
Teves explained in a video posted on his Facebook on Wednesday that Marcos has greater power in the government and is therefore better positioned to keep him safe.
Fearing for his and his family’s safety, Teves has delayed returning home even though his travel authorization has expired. His life was in danger allegedly because of his connection to the murder of Roel Degamo, governor of Negros Oriental.
“Dapat lahat ng angulo tignan. Ang nangyari kasi ngayon Mr. President pagkatapos pa lang no’ng murder ako na kaagad ang tinumbok. So ‘yon lang ang pakiusap ko sir, at sana meron akong… ewan ko kung papaano, but gusto ko sana kayong maka-usap, para maka-explain ako sa inyo, kung matawagan ko man ang anong number ng tauhan mo,” Teves said.
(All angles should be gleaned upon. What happens now, Mr. President is that after the murder, I was pinpointed. That’s my request so far, sir… I don’t know how, but I want to talk to you, to explain to you; I can call any of the numbers of your officials.)
“Nire-respeto ko kayo ng sobra, and sana lang mapagbigyan niyo ako na makapag-usap tayo para lang ma-explain ko naman ang aking side, at kung kayo na ang humiling na umuwi ako, mas mahihirapan ako humindi kasi mas may authority kayo makabigay ng proteksyon sa akin,” he added.
(I respect you so much, and I hope you can grant my request to talk to you to explain to you my side, and if you ask that I come home, maybe it would be harder for me to deny that request because you have the authority to give me protection.)
Teves also thanked Marcos for answering queries related to him. The lawmaker was referring to an ambush interview of Marcos earlier, where the President urged Teves to return to face issues hurled against him.
Marcos warned Teves that he should return to the Philippines so that he could take part in discussions, noting that the government will be forced to proceed with its procedures if he did not return or if he returned late.
According to Teves, he hopes that the investigation on the killing of Degamo would not only focus on him, but on other possible suspects also.
“Ang akin lang sana Mr. President na maliwanagan kayo, dahil sinasabi niyo kanina na this is not about e-sabong, but about the murder. Gusto ko lang malaman niyo na ang isinampa nilang kaso sa akin was about the raid conducted in my house, na no’ng January 11 ko pa binanggit sa aking video na nanawagan ako sa inyo na magpapatulong na may gagawin silang raid sa bahay ko at tataniman ako ng ebidensya,” he said.
(I hope Mr. President you would be enlightened about this, because you said earlier that this is not about e-sabong, but about the murder. I want to stress taht they filed a case against me about the raid conducted in my house, that on January 11, I have been saying, calling to you about a planned raid where they would plant evidence.)
“At nangyari nga. ‘Yon talaga ‘yong kinakatakot ko Mr. President kaya hindi ako umuwi. Tungkol sa murder, wala namang problema as I said na isama ako sa mga iniimbestigahan, ang request ko lang sana sir, wag naman sanang ako lang,” he added.
(And it happened, indeed. That’s what I am scared about Mr. President, that’s why I refused to come home. About the murder, I do not have any problem with that, as I said, it is okay for me to be investigated, but my request is, please don’t single me out.)
Teves was in the United States for a medical treatment, which was granted through a travel authority from February 28 to March 9. However, even after his travel authority expired, Teves refused to return, even with prodding from House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez himself.
Teves’ non-attendance of his House duties forced the House committee on ethics and privileges to discuss the case without him, even with the lawmaker asking that he be allowed to attend through videoconferencing.
Teves also claimed that he was being ‘operated’ from the very beginning, and that this ‘operation’ has made its way into the House ethics panel.
The Speaker in the past has assured Teves several times that the House will exert “all possible means” to secure him — noting however that the security cannot be extended beyond the country.