Teves dares Remulla: Strong evidence? Take your case to court
MANILA, Philippines — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla should just file cases if he has strong evidence in his hands, suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. said on Monday.
Teves, accused by investigators as the mastermind behind the killing of former Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, told CNN’s The Source that cases should be submitted before the courts instead of doing a press conference and submitting him to a trial by publicity.
The lawmaker said this after Remulla said that a military reservist acted as a ‘casting director’ in planning the attack on Degamo. According to Teves, the Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary appears well-versed in writing scripts.
“Ganito na lang, sino ‘yong magaling gumawa ng script, sila ‘yong nagke-kwento tungkol sa palabas ‘di ba? Nagke-kwento sila tungkol sa producer, executive producer, ibig sabihin sanay sila sa mga script at mga sine-sine. Bakit ako tina-trial by publicity?” Teves asked.
(Let’s do this: they are the ones who are good at writing scripts. They have stories about producers, and executive producers, which means they are well-versed in writing scripts and plays. Then why do they subject me to a trial by publicity?)
“Kung malakas ‘yong kaso nila, kasuhan niyo ako sa korte, puro kayo dada eh, puro salita, puro presscon, wala naman ‘yong kaso sa presscon eh. Gusto lang ako siraan, gusto sirain ‘yong negosyo ko, gusto sirain ‘yong pagkatao ko pati pamilya ko, kawawa na. Again, ito paki-tanong sa kanila kung totoo ba silang malinis,” he added.
(If they have a strong case, then file one against me before the courts instead of talking endlessly and asking for press conferences — no cases are filed during press conferences. They only want to destroy my reputation, my business, my identity, and even my family already suffers. Again, ask them if they are spotless.)
Teves admitted during the same interview that the military reservist, Marvin Halaman Miranda, used to be his bodyguard. However, he emphasized that Miranda is no longer an employee of his, noting that the last time he saw Miranda was at least four years ago.
“Dati kong bodyguard, long, long time ago. Sinabi ko na ‘yan, bodyguard ko ‘yan dati […] yeah, kaya nga ‘dati’ dahil wala na, long time, four or five years ago?” Teves, who represents Negros Oriental’s 3rd District, said.
(He used to be my bodyguard a long, long time ago. I said that before, he is my bodyguard […] yeah, that’s why I said he used to, because he is no longer with me, last time I saw him was a long time ago, four or five years ago?)
Degamo was killed by several men who entered his residence in Pamplona last March 4. Teves, who was in the United States for medical treatment during the incident, has constantly denied the accusations — adding that he and his brother, former governor Pryde Henry Teves would not benefit from it.
Teves has refrained from returning to the Philippines, claiming threats to his and his family’s security. Despite directives from House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, his refusal to return home has resulted in a 60-day suspension for Teves.
Asked if he is willing to return with the safety assurances from Senator Ronald dela Rosa, who is conducting a Senate hearing on the Negros Oriental killings and Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr., Teves said he would return if he would not be killed.
“If I won’t be killed, I will go. But they will kill me, I have never given any fake information. When I said that the house would be raided, it really happened. Now that I know I will be killed, I don’t want that to happen. I cannot just risk my life, people who depend on me would suffer,” he said in Filipino.
“Just do this: ask them who guarded Degamo. A lot of military personnel and police officers, right? But what has happened to him? That is my question: what has happened to Degamo?” he asked.