MANILA, Philippines – House Speaker Martin Romualdez assigned himself as temporary caretaker of the 3rd District of Negros Oriental, after the chamber suspended Representative Arnie Teves Jr. for 60 days.
“In the interest of the people of the 3rd District of Negros Oriental, the undersigned shall act as the legislative caretaker of the 3rd District of Negros Oriental for the period 23 March 2023 to 22 May 2023. This order takes effect immediately,” the memorandum order signed by Romualdez read.
The memo was made public on Thursday, March 30, a week after the House sanctioned Teves over disorderly behavior when he stayed abroad with an expired travel clearance and defied orders to return home and perform his congressional duties.
Suspension, which lasts 60 days, is the second highest form of penalty for errant House members under Section 143 of House rules. Because of the penalty, Teves is denied salary, compensation, office space, and other privileges that a House lawmaker is entitled to.
Teves has been mired in a string of controversies, including the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo.
Suspects in Degamo’s killing claimed a certain “Congressman Teves” was the brains behind the gruesome incident.
Since March, he has been slapped with numerous criminal complaints, some of which are in connection with at least three killings in his province in 2019, and others in relation to illegal possession of firearms.
Teves has denied the allegations against him, and floated theories that there are people – including from the Palace – orchestrating his downfall over his involvement in e-sabong (online cockfighting) operations.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Romualdez have appealed to him to return to the Philippines and face the accusations against him, assuring him of his safety once he comes home. – Rappler.com
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