House of Representatives

House ethics panel wraps up Arnie Teves probe

Dwight de Leon

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House ethics panel wraps up Arnie Teves probe

MAN OF THE HOUR. Lawmaker Arnie Teves in a virtual press conference in May 2023.

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The House ethics committee says it has come up with a recommendation on the case of Teves, who has been suspended twice. The question is whether lawmakers will finally pull the plug and boot him out.

MANILA, Philippines – The House ethics panel finished its latest round of investigation of embattled lawmaker Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., who is on the brink of expulsion from Congress due to various controversies.

“We’re not allowed to divulge the outcome, but yeah, the committee has already made a recommendation,” House ethics panel vice chairperson Jil Bongalon of Ako Bicol told Rappler on Monday, August 14.

Teves has already been slapped with two 60-day suspension orders in the House – the first in March, and the second in May.

The House leadership wants Teves to come home and personally face the numerous allegations against him, specifically in connection with the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo in March. (Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article said Degamo was killed in February. This has been corrected.)

Sources said some lawmakers were already pushing for Teves’ expulsion after the first suspension order against him lapsed in May.

They had taken offense at Teves’ failed bid to apply for political asylum in Timor-Leste, a move which for them meant he no longer intends to return to the country and continue his duties as a legislator.

His colleagues, however, ultimately did away with expulsion, choosing instead to boot Teves out of committees on top of another suspension order in May.

Teves, however, is further pushed into a corner this time around because the latest round of ethics panel investigation took into consideration the Philippine government’s classification of the congressman as a terrorist – a historic first on Filipino legislator.

House ethics panel wraps up Arnie Teves probe

Prior to the start of the ethics committee meeting on Monday, Teves asked the panel to put an end to the proceedings.

He argued that he is still challenging his designation as a terrorist before the Anti-Terrorism Council, so it’s not yet final.

“In case the issues under consideration for the disciplinary action against a member of the legislature is subsequently brought before either a court of proper jurisdiction or any other tribunal or body that has the power to rule on the matter under the law, then the committee’s jurisdiction is suspended pending the disposition of the case before the said fora,” he said in his letter.

Teves has repeatedly claimed he did not have a hand in Degamo’s assassination.

He insisted he cannot come home because of threats to his life. –

1 comment

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  1. ET

    Why not divulge it right away? What are the reasons behind this decision of the House ethics panel? It is interesting to find the reason or reasons behind.

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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.