THE House of Representatives has suspended for 60 days embattled Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. over his “disorderly behavior” amid his refusal to return to the country and get back to work.
In a plenary session on Wednesday evening, March 22, a total of 292 lawmakers voted in favor of the House ethics and privileges committee report 472, which recommended the suspension of Teves for 60 days over his failure “to observe the norms of conduct and ethical standards expected of public officials.”
There was no negative vote or abstention.
"His misconduct has adversely affected the dignity, integrity and reputation of his public office and that of the House of Representatives as an institution. This committee cannot countenance such an act by any member of the House," read the report.
Teves was sanctioned with the second highest form of penalty an erring member of the House could get under Section 143 of House Rules.
While suspended, Teves is barred from attending sessions, and is not entitled to salary and other compensation, office space and other privileges.
In his remark, House Speaker Martin Romualdez said the lower chamber will not tolerate its members’ misconduct and wrongdoing.
"Under our leadership, the House of Representatives will never ever countenance any conduct unbecoming of a House member," he said.
Teves refused to come back home despite his expired travel authority due to threats in his life amid his implication in the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
He was also charged over the murder of three more individuals in Dumaguete in 2019.
The House also rejected Teves’ bid for a two-month leave of absence.
Teves earlier said he can attend sessions via video conferencing as he appealed for “fairness.”
The committee said the lawmaker failed to provide evidence to support his claims that there is a grave imminent threat against his life.
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said Wednesday, March 22, that there are no intelligence reports on threats against Teves' life.
This statement of the President was supported by Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Rodolfo Azurin Jr. and Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief-of-Staff General Andres Centino.
Marcos also assured Teves safety if he decides to return. (SunStar Philippines)
Photo from Teves' Facebook page
March 23, 2023
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