Bato dela Rosa assures Teves of fair treatment
Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Monday said suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. would be treated fairly during the Senate inquiry into the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, assuring the embattled lawmaker that the public hearing on April 17 would not become a “kangaroo court.”
“I’m a retired police officer. I know how to conduct a [criminal] investigation,” Dela Rosa told an online press briefing.
“I know how not to be dragged [in a political squabble] and how not to be used [for political agenda],” he said.
He reiterated that Teves, who had been named by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla as the brains behind Degamo’s murder, was welcome to participate in the proceedings that he would preside as chair of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee.
The Negros Oriental lawmaker had opted to stay abroad after he was implicated in the brazen killing of his political rival on March 4, in which eight others were also killed and 17 were wounded.
“Hopefully, Teves can join us, even while he’s hiding in other place, through Zoom,” Dela Rosa said.
As to the concern of Teves’ counsel, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, that the proceedings in the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the murder case filed against his client had turned into a kangaroo court, the senator said: “The fact that we invited [Teves], that means we want to hear his side.”
“We will handle the hearing [judiciously] so that it will not become a kangaroo court,” Dela Rosa said.
The Senate inquiry, he added, would keep away from discussing the legal aspects of the case since the DOJ had already started its preliminary investigation.
“Just in case we stumble upon additional evidence that would help strengthen the case and make it more airtight, then [the DOJ] can use it in the prosecution,” Dela Rosa said. INQ