NegOr solon denies involvement in Degamo murder

Negros Oriental Representative Arnold Teves  (Screenshot from Arnold Teves Facebook live)
Negros Oriental Representative Arnold Teves (Screenshot from Arnold Teves Facebook live)

NEGROS Oriental Rep.Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. (Negros Oriental, Third District) has denied rumors that his family, particularly him and his brother, were behind the brutal killing of Governor Roel Degamo and nine others.

In a video statement he posted on his Facebook page on Monday, March 6, 2023, Teves denied allegations made by his critics especially those he considered as “Marites ug Epal” that he and his family had any hand on Degamo’s murder.

“Kung may balak man ako o may kakayahan na gawin ito, tandaan nyo–kung may balak man ako o may kakayahan na gawin ito, eh di sana ginawa ko na to bago pa mag election,” Teves said.

(If I have the intention or the capability to do that, just remember–if I had the intention and capability to do that, then I should have done it just before the election began)

The 16-minute video was made while Teves was abroad just after undergoing stem cell therapy for an undisclosed ailment.

Teves said that while he and his brother, former NegOr governor Pryde Henry Teves, were Degamo’s political rivals, they were not capable nor had the motive for murder.

“Anong motibo ko ngayon gagawin? Diba? Hindi rin maging benepisyaryo ako at ang kapatid ko. Dahil kung mawala ang gobernador, ang uupo naman ang vice governor,” Teves added.

(What is my motive? My brother and I will also not benefit from this (Degamo’s death). If the governor dies, it will be the vice governor who will assume the former’s post)

The congressman’s brother ran against Degamo during the May 2022 Local and National Elections and was proclaimed winner until the Commission on Elections overturned his victory.

Because of rumors being circulated by a personality in the province, Teves said he was forced to issue a statement after he learned that several personalities were trying to pin the blame of Degamo’s murder on him and his brother.

“Alam niyo ba, ito ang matagal ko ng kinakatakot na mangyari. Bakit? Expected ko na na ako na naman ang pagbibintang. Baka wala pa nagsalita openly, but uulitin ko sa inyo katulad ng mga salita ko dati, marami din akong sources of intel. Ngayon, napag-alaman ko na meron ibang mga tao diyan na gusto akong idiin. Ang iba nito gusto lang umepal, gusto magpasikat para sa sarili nilang kapakanan. Wala po akong pinapatamaan, pero alam niyo kung sino kayo,” he added.

(You know that I have long feared that this moment will come. Why? I expected that I would be the one pinpointed for the crime. Maybe they are not saying it openly, but I would like to repeat what I said before, I also have my own sources of intelligence. Now, I found out that there are some people there that want to point me as a suspect. Some want to attract attention just for their own benefit. I am not hitting anyone, but you who you are.)

Appealing to BBM

In the same video, Teves also appealed to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to reinstate his license to carry firearms as he is concerned for his and his family’s safety.

Though he had initially surrendered some of his firearms to authorities, Teves plans for the rest of his firearms provided that the national government provide him with a permit to carry.

“Again, nanawagan ako sa ating mahal na Presidente. Kailangan ko po ng proteksyon ng aking buhay, kailangan namin nang kapayapaan sa aming probinsya at kailangan namin nang tulong para masolba ang lahat ng krimen sa buong bansa,” Teves added.

(Again, I am asking our beloved President. I need to protection for myself, we need peace in our province and we also need help that crimes in our country are solved as well)

Questions

Teves also raised several questions about the security preparations made at Degamo’s house in Pamplona town where the fatal shooting took place.

Citing the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage of the incident, Teves wondered if some of Degamo’s close-in security personnel knew those who gunned down the governor.

“Bakit nakapasok o pinapasok ng ganun lamang yung mga tao? Na sa aking sariling pag-a-analysa, ay parang magkakilala sila nung na sa gate. At hindi lang yun, syempre kakila, nakapasok nga wala man lang konting resistance,” Teves added.

(Why were the suspects able to enter or were allowed to enter (the governor’s residence)? Based on my analysis, I think those guarding the gate knew the suspects. It's not just that. They were able to enter the house without any resistance)

Teves also noticed in the video that Degamo’s dogs did not even bark at the gunmen right outside the area where the governor held the distribution of assistance. (JKV, PJB)

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