Teves to also face murder raps for 2019 killings; hitman's testimony strengthens case | Inquirer News

Teves to also face murder raps for 2019 killings; hitman’s testimony strengthens case

/ 06:04 PM August 11, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. will be facing three more cases for murder, this time for three deaths in 2019, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Friday.

The cases are in relation to the deaths of Michael Dungog, a former board member of the Third District of Negros Oriental who was killed on March 25, 2019; Lester Bato, a bodyguard for Basay Mayoralty candidate Cliff Cordova who was killed on May 26, 2019; and Pacito Libron, alleged hitman linked to Teves who was also killed on 2019.


“Itong kasong ito ang isa sa nagbigay takot sa lahat ng tao sa Negros Oriental,” Remulla told reporters


(These cases scared everyone in Negros Oriental.)

“Mahabang panahon na kasi na maraming natatakot dito sapagkat ang pagpatay ng mga tao sa larangan ng pulitika at anu pa mang dahilan ay napakarami talagang nagyayari,” Remulla added.

(It’s been a long time, and many people here are afraid because the killings of those involved in politics and for whatever other reasons are indeed happening frequently.)

The foundation of the case is based on the extrajudicial confession of Gemuel Hobro, who was part of the group allegedly hired by Teves to carry out the three killings. Aside from Hobro’s testimony, the complainant, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-Regional Field Unit National Capital Region (CIDG-RFU NCR), also presented other pieces of evidence including death certificates, affidavits from investigators, and relatives of the victims.

“The credibility and constitutionality of sound execution of Hobro’s testimony further substantiate the case. His connections to Congressman Teves and the co-respondents are firmly established through evidence, confirming the political and personal motivations behind the murders,” read the briefer from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Remulla said the cases will be filed before the Regional Trial Court in Manila after nearly four months of a preliminary investigation that started last May.


Teves and another respondent, Hanna Mae Sumerano, did not appear in person before the prosecutors. Instead, the two submitted separate motions to dismiss the complaint.

Aside from Teves and Sumerano, to be charged in court include Richard “Boy” Cuadra, Jasper “Bobong” Tanasan, Alex Mayagma, Rolando Pinili, and Gemuel Hobro.

Hobro has been conditionally admitted to the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP). Under the law, it will be up to the court to remove him from the list of accused based on the evidence to be presented by the prosecutors.

Teves is believed to still be overseas with his last location in Timor-Leste where he attempted to seek political asylum. He was recently designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council.


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TAGS: Murder, Teves

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