House of Representatives

Embattled Teves seeks 2-month leave from House due to ‘safety risks’

Dwight de Leon

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Embattled Teves seeks 2-month leave from House due to ‘safety risks’

LAWMAKER. Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. in 2021.

House of Representatives

The office of Speaker Martin Romualdez says the ethics committee has jurisdiction on whether to grant Teves' request for leave

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. wrote to House Speaker Martin Romualdez, requesting a two-month leave of absence (LOA) from the chamber.

The Speaker’s office confirmed on Thursday, March 16, that it received a letter from Teves’ camp on Wednesday, March 15.

“The undersigned representative of the 3rd District of Negros Oriental humbly plea and request that he be granted a two-month leave of absence due to very grave securiy threat to his life and his family, to be reckoned from March 9, 2023,” the letter read.

“Rest assured that he will come back as soon as the threat will be dealt with according to our laws, and with the aid of the government,” it added.

Teves has yet to return to the country after traveling to the United States for medical treatment.

The House granted him a travel clearance, which was only valid from February 28 to March 9.

Since then, Romualdez has publicly appealed to the congressman to come home and face the allegations against him in connection with the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

According to the House Speaker, Teves reached out to him via phone call on Monday, March 13, to say that he was reluctant to go home due to fear for his safety.

Asked whether the Speaker granted Teves’ request for leave, his office maintained that the ethics committee has jurisdiction on the matter.

Teves’ request for a two-month LOA comes after the House ethics committee decided to conduct its own probe into Teves’ failure to return to the Philippines after his travel clearance expired.

House ethics committee chairman Felimon Espares of party-list group COOP NATCCO said Teves would be given five days to provide an explanation.

Espares said if a member is proven guilty of violating House rules, disciplinary actions could include suspension or expulsion from the chamber.

Suspects in Degamo’s killing claimed a certain “Congressman Teves” was the brains behind the gruesome incident.

In March, he was was also slapped with a murder complaint over at least three killings in his province in 2019. – 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.