Remulla: Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. ‘being considered’ as among masterminds in Degamo slay
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Monday said Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. is “being considered” as one of the masterminds in the March 4 killing of Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others.
At a press conference, Remulla said they are currently looking at two to three masterminds.
“They can be contacted. I think meron namang nasa social media dyan. ‘Yung isa, meron nag text sa akin. I told you last week, Cong. Teves texted me. They are being considered as masterminds,” the chief of the Department of Justice (DOJ) told reporters.
According to Remulla, the investigation is progressing, and “that is the direction we are heading.”
He added that the younger brother of the lawmaker, former Negros Oriental Gov. Pryde Henry Teves might also be implicated in the Degamo case following the raid in his sugar mill last Friday, March 24, where authorities seized a huge cache of high-powered firearms, ammunition, and explosives.
READ: PNP raids Rep. Teves’ brother’s sugar mill for illegal firearms
“We will look at the facts in the best way possible. We will see the participation of people and we will see also from what we have right now how the statements given by the suspects jive with the facts that we have discovered,” Remulla said.
He also said that ex-governor Pryde Henry Teves will be subjected to a preliminary investigation, in which respondents or people named in the complaint will be given the opportunity to submit their counter-affidavit, or their side to an accusation, and supporting evidence.
“We have to respect the rights of people,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr.’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, called for fundamental fairness.
“Sana magsalita na lang kung meron ng case in court na ipa-file niya (I hope they will just speak if there is already a case that will be filed in court). During the course of the preliminary investigation, the DOJ should not lose its image of impartiality and lack of prejudice,” Topacio told reporters.
“Fundamental fairness…’yun lang naman po ang aming panawagan mula’t sapul (that’s all we’ve been calling for since the beginning),” he added.
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