House of Representatives

Teves finds first House ally after ex-speaker Alvarez opposes expulsion

Dwight de Leon

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Teves finds first House ally after ex-speaker Alvarez opposes expulsion

LAWMAKER. Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez in 2023.

House press and public affairs bureau

A day after the House unseated Arnie Teves, Davao del Norte 1st District Representative Pantaleon Alvarez asks the majority leader that his vote against Teves' expulsion be reflected in congressional records

MANILA, Philippines – Official congressional records showed no one sided with politician Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. when the House took up the ethics committee recommendation to unseat him, but former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez claimed he voted against Teves’ expulsion.

Teves finds first House ally after ex-speaker Alvarez opposes expulsion

In a letter addressed to House Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe on Thursday, August 17, Alvarez reiterated his “no” vote on the motion to expel the Visayan lawmaker.

“It is the position of the undersigned that said negative vote be reflected in the records of the House of Representatives,” Alvarez wrote.

It is unclear if House staff committed a clerical oversight on Wednesday, August 16, in wrongly recording Alvarez’s vote, or if the lawmaker was trying to belatedly change congressional records on how he participated in Wednesday’s proceedings. 

Teves finds first House ally after ex-speaker Alvarez opposes expulsion
Why oppose Teves’ expulsion

In a statement, Alvarez said Teves’ removal on the bases cited in the committee report were petty and unacceptable.

Teves was booted out of the House for disorderly behavior and code of conduct violation in the wake of his attempt to seek political asylum in Timor-Leste and his continued absences in the chamber. His colleagues also made him accountable for his indecent behavior online.

“Are these grave offenses? Maybe not. Others have committed heavier offenses but were not unseated,” Alvarez said.

The Davao del Norte 1st District lawmaker believes Teves was expelled due to allegations he masterminded the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo in March.

“Let due process take its course. Let the courts decide after seeing the evidence, and if proven guilty, that’s when the House should expel him. Yesterday, the Congress was many things: judge, jury, and executioner,” he said.

Official records put the number of lawmakers who voted to expel Teves at 265, with zero negative vote and three abstentions. Forty-three other lawmakers were present but did not cast a vote.

Teves’ removal from the House is historic because the collegial body has never voted to expel one of its own.

Prior to his expulsion, Teves had been suspended twice for disorderly behavior. His colleagues had told him the penalties would go away if he comes home.

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What happens after Teves’ expulsion, and other FAQs

What happens after Teves’ expulsion, and other FAQs

But the embattled political scion has defied calls to return to the Philippines to face the allegations against him, citing supposed threats to his life.

He repeatedly insisted he did not have a hand in Degamo’s assassination, and that he is not a leader of a terrorist group. – Rappler.com

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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.