House of Representatives

Teves expulsion: House tells Comelec to hold special election in Negros Oriental

Dwight de Leon

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Teves expulsion: House tells Comelec to hold special election in Negros Oriental

LOWER HOUSE. The House of Representatives opens its second regular session on Monday morning, July 24, 2023.

Dwight de Leon/Rappler

(2nd UPDATE) Comelec sets the special election to fill the seat vacated by Arnie Teves in Negros Oriental 3rd District on December 9, 2023

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives approved a resolution urging the Commission on Elections to hold a special election after the chamber declared vacant the congressional seat that was left behind by now-expelled Negros Oriental 3rd District lawmaker Arnie Teves.

House Resolution No. 1212 – signed by Speaker Martin Romualdez, Majority Leader Mannix Dalipe, and Minority Leader Marcelino Libanan – passed the chamber on Tuesday, August 22, after a voice vote.

This is allowed under the law – Republic Act No. 6645 allows Comelec to hold a special election if the vacancy arises at least one year before the next regular election.

Comelec Chairman George Garcia told reporters on Wednesday, August 30, that the election would be held on December 9, 2023. 

He previously said it was no longer feasible to conduct the vote simultaneous with the October 30 barangay elections.

It is worthy to note that the House has yet to call for a special election for the congressional seat in Valenzuela’s 1st District which became vacant following Rex Gatchalian’s appointment as social welfare chief in January.

Instead of calling for a special election, the House appointed Quezon 1st District Representative Mark Enverga – Gatchalian’s party mate in the Nationalist People’s Coalition – as its caretaker.

Teves expulsion: House tells Comelec to hold special election in Negros Oriental
Why was Teves expelled?

The House, in a historic first, voted to unseat Teves on August 16 for disorderly behavior and violation of code of conduct.

What triggered the offenses were his continued absences in the House, his attempts to seek political asylum in Timor-Leste, and his indecent behavior on social media.

Teves has been in hiding since March, after he was implicated in the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo.

In August, the Anti-Terrorism Council declared him a terrorist partly because of his supposed involvement in the assassination, but Teves repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

He said he cannot come home due to grave threats to his life.

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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.