Teves scores ‘dark day’ after House expulsion
Speaker Martin Romualdez will remain caretaker of the third congressional district of Negros Oriental following the expulsion on Wednesday of former Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. as a member of the House of Representatives.
House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said the Speaker, who has been the district’s caretaker during Teves’ two consecutive suspensions, will remain caretaker for the rest of Teves’ term or until the House appoints a new one since the House did not designate a caretaker when it unanimously expelled the Negros lawmaker.
“Speaker has already served as a caretaker, and we have not heard of any objection from the constituents,” Velasco told journalists after he announced that Teves had already been notified of his expulsion.
“We have just released the letter to Mr. Teves. It was received by his office, informing him, through his office, about the decision of the plenary to expel him as a member of the House of Representatives,” Velasco said a day after the House voted 265-0 with three abstentions to expel him.
But on Thursday, former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, incumbent representative of Davao del Norte’s first district, asked House officials to change the vote count to reflect his “no” vote. He did not cite his reasons for the request.
In a committee report ratified by the vote, the House ethics committee recommended Teves’ expulsion for abandonment of office as shown by his continued absence since February and refusal to report back to the House even after two consecutive suspensions. Teves was also rapped for seeking political asylum in Timor-Leste when he was not a political prisoner and he still had remedies within the Philippine justice system, which he brought to disrepute by his actions, particularly by posting on the internet videos of himself dancing in his underwear.
Teves’ whereabouts has remained unknown since the March 4 assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and he was accused of being the mastermind.