Teves claims PNP doing intel work targeting him in Timor Leste
MANILA, Philippines — Suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. has supposedly heard talks that police officers are doing intel work on him, saying in jest that he could have spent some time to visit Filipino cops in Timor Leste.
In a video uploaded on his Facebook page, Teves said he also heard rumors that a certain Lt. Col. Cecil Viloria and four others went to Timor Leste — adding that he wants to know what they are after.
It could be remembered that Teves, accused of masterminding the killing of former Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, tried to apply for asylum in Timor Leste. Teves denied any involvement in the attack against Degamo, but maintained that he fears for his and his family’s safety.
“So nabalitaan ko na naman, si Lt. Col. Cecil Viloria at may kasamang apat na tao pinapapunta sa Timor Leste. Ang pakay ko lang dito, gusto ko lang malaman kung official trip ng ating gobyerno. Bakit ko ito tinatanong? Siyempre ako ay isang Pilipino na mamamayan at isang taxpayer other than being a congressman,” Teves said.
(So I heard that a Lt. Col. Cecil Viloria and four others went to Timor Leste. My only concern here is, I only want to know if this is an official trip of our government. Why am I asking? Because I am a Filipino citizen and a taxpayer, other than being a congressman.)
“At isa ko pang nabalitaan na ang pakay daw ay intel work towards for or against Cong. Arnie Teves. Ibig sabihin ako yung pakay ng intel work,” he added.
(And another thing I heard is that they intend to do intel work against Cong. Arnie Teves. That means I am the target of the intel work.)
According to Teves, if the certain police officer came to Timor Leste on a private trip, he would have no qualms about it. But if it was made on an official capacity, the suspended lawmaker said Filipinos should know about it.
“Kung official trip kasi ito ang magbabayad ay taong bayan. Kung private trip ito eh di wala tayong pakialam di ba, pwede sila magbakasyon. Ngayon kung official trip ito dapat malaman ito ng lahat. Balita ko kasi hindi alam ng Philippine Embassy ng Timor Leste, balita lang naman,” he said.
(If this is an official trip, people would pay for it. If it is done in private, then they could do their vacation, I have no qualms about it. But if it is an official trip, people should know about this. The story I heard is that even the Philippine Embassy of Timor Leste doesn’t know.)
“So ma’am or sir — hindi ko alam kung lalake or babae ka dahil may Cecil naman na lalake, may Cecille naman na babae — sana kung ako yung pakay niyo you should have informed me ahead of time para may panahon naman ako mapasyalan kayo at mapuntahan kung pupunta kayo ng Timor Leste. Di ba. So ‘yon lang. Sana hindi niyo tinatago dahil malalaman na ng lahat,” he added.
(So ma’am or sir — I don’t know, because Cecil can be a male or a female — if I am your target, you should have informed me ahead so that I can set aside time to go to Timor Leste and visit you. Right? That’s it. I hope you don’t hide it because people will know.)
INQUIRER.net sought the side of the Philippine National Police, but the police’s spokesperson has not yet replied as of posting time.
Before Teves went to the United States for a medical procedure, he asked the House of Representatives for — and was granted — a travel authority from February 28 to March 9.
However, after Degamo was killed by several armed men outside his residence in Pamplona town last March 4, Teves refrained from returning to the Philippines, citing safety concerns for his family.
Government officials including House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez asked him to return and face accusations leveled against him, but Teves maintained that he would return only when the government can assure his safety.
Due to his insistence against returning home, the House Committee on ethics and privileges proposed a 60-day suspension for him, which was accepted by the House members.
Last May 31, after his suspension ended on May 22, Teves was again suspended for 60 days. He was also removed from the House committees that he is a part of.