Rep. Teves refutes terrorist tag
Teves denied the accusations, saying that he and his brother would not gain anything from killing Degamo.
In a virtual press briefing, Teves said that allegations that he is a terrorist are the peak of the government’s stupidity, reasoning that no sensible politician would appeal for votes while terrorizing the voters themselves.
“Tignan natin sa SEC, kung may naka rehistro na Teves terrorist group. Meron bang kumpanyang gano’n? Seriously, there’s no such thing as a Teves terrorist group,” Teves said.
(Let’s check with the SEC if there is a Teves terrorist group registered. Seriously, there’s no such thing as a Teves terrorist group.)
“‘Yan ‘yong pinaka-stupido nilang sinabi, sino namang pulitiko ang magso-sow ng fear? Nangangampanya ka nga para mahalin ka ng tao, mananakot ka? Ano’ng klaseng katangahan ‘yon ‘di ba? Sa totoo lang, ‘di ba? You’re wooing people to love you, to vote for you, pa’no ka mananalo ng eleksyon kung tatakutin mo ‘yong tao?” he asked.
(That’s the stupidest thing that they have said. Is there a politician who would try to sow fear? You are campaigning, seeking to be loved by people, then you would threaten them? What kind of stupidity is that? To be honest, right? You’re wooing people to love you, to vote for you; how would you win if you threaten them?)
Teves’ lawyer Ferdinand Topacio meanwhile noted that the ATC, which was created by the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, was created for extraordinary circumstances where there is an intent to sow fear.
Topacio pointed out that even if the allegations against Teves were true — which he said was very doubtful — it should not be considered terrorism.
“The Anti-Terrorism Act is an exception to the rule, is the strong arm of the law that you wouldn’t use except under extraordinary circumstances […] The intention of the killings, et cetera, the bombings should be to intimidate the general public, create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear, to intimidate the government or any international organization or destabilize the government, financial institutions,” Topacio said in English and Filipino.
“What they did at the Marawi siege, the attacks, the military fought, used helicopters and jets just to drive the fundamentalist group away. What the CPP-NPA did, ambushing cops, bombing cell sites, and threatening those who don’t pay revolutionary tax, these are the acts of terrorism that resulted in the creation of the law.”
Teves has not returned to the Philippines since the House of Representatives granted him a travel authority from February 28 to March 9 for a medical trip to the United States.
After Degamo was killed inside his residence in Pamplona town last March 4, Teves was pinned down by investigators as the mastermind of the incident.
Teves then refrained from flying back into the country due to supposed concerns about his and his family’s security.
Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez urged the lawmaker to return home, assuring him that authorities would secure him once he was within the Philippine jurisdiction, but Teves maintained that he would only return if he saw a semblance of justice.