House of Representatives

60-day House suspension vs Teves ends, new sanction up for discussion

Dwight de Leon

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60-day House suspension vs Teves ends, new sanction up for discussion

LAWMAKER. Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnie Teves attends a House public order committee hearing in November 2021.

House press and public affairs bureau

(1st UPDATE) House Speaker Martin Romualdez previously warned Representative Arnie Teves that he may face another round of sanction should he fail to come home after the suspension order against him expires

MANILA, Philippines – The two-month suspension slapped by the House of Representatives against lawmaker Arnie Teves ended on Monday, May 22.

The chamber’s ethics panel met to discuss Teves’ case the day after, on Tuesday, May 23.

Teves has been in hiding abroad since February after his name was brought up in connection with the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo.

The House then issued him with a rare suspension order for showing “disorderly behavior” when he stayed overseas with an expired travel clearance and defied orders to return home and perform his congressional duties.

Suspension is the second highest form of penalty for erring House members under Section 143 of House rules. The most severe is expulsion, and the lightest is a reprimand.

60-day House suspension vs Teves ends, new sanction up for discussion

Romualdez warned Teves earlier this month that failure to set foot in the Philippines after the expiry of his 60-day suspension may result in more sanctions against him.

“This is our recourse in order to preserve the dignity, integrity, and reputation of the House of Representatives,” he had said.

Teves’ suspension currently deprives him of his access to salary, office space and other House privileges.

Teves’ lawyer Ferdinand Topacio told CNN Philippines on Sunday, May 21, that his client would ask the ethics panel to allow him to attend Tuesday’s hearing via video conference. The chamber already denied a similar request back in March.

On Tuesday, House ethics panel chair COOP NATCCO Representative Felimon Espares said the committee came up with recommendations on Teves that would be subject to a plenary vote on the last week of May, although the panel declined to divulge the details of their findings.

“Teves’ continued unauthorized absence is continuous disorderly conduct,” the committee’s vice chair and Nueva Ecija 3rd District Representative Ria Vergara said.

60-day House suspension vs Teves ends, new sanction up for discussion

The embattled Teves is also facing numerous criminal complaints, some in connection with at least three killings in his province in 2019, and others in relation to illegal possession of firearms. 

Teves has repeatedly maintained his innocence, and said the allegations against him were merely orchestrated by his rivals in politics and the e-sabong (online cockfighting) community. –

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.