‘I will never break the law’; Benitez to address Teves’ claims ‘in proper forum’

Posted by watchmen
August 8, 2023
Posted in HEADLINE
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez answers the accusations made against him by suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves, Jr. at the City Government Center yesterday, August 7, 2023. Benitez says he will address the financial issues raised by Teves in a proper forum. (Mae Singuay photo)   Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez answers the accusations made against him by suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves, Jr. at the City Government Center yesterday, August 7, 2023. Benitez says he will address the financial issues raised by Teves in a proper forum. (Mae Singuay photo)   
Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez answers the accusations made against him by suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves, Jr. at the City Government Center yesterday, August 7, 2023. Benitez says he will address the financial issues raised by Teves in a proper forum. (Mae Singuay photo)

By Mae Singuay

Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez has responded to the accusations by suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo Teves, Jr. after the lawmaker was designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council.

“I am the first person that will never, never break the law,” Benitez said during his press conference at the Bacolod City Government Center yesterday.

This, after Teves, during an online press conference on August 1, referred to Benitez as his “boss” and accused him of betraying him in their “agreement.”

However, Benitez cited Republic Act 10168, or the Terrorism Financing Prevention and Suppression Act of 2012, which penalizes any institution or individual engaging with designated terrorists.

We are bounded by certain laws that specify any person, association, company, directly or indirectly dealing with designated terrorists will be subject to certain penalties,” Benitez said.

In fact, the penalties even go as far as reclusion perpetua,” he added.

Teves allegedly has business transactions with Benitez, and also owes him a certain amount of money.

Benitez also got in touch with Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Sunday, August 6, asking him certain parameters on how to go about it.

This is not just like ordinary dealings that we can answer based on what is being painted or being asked,” Benitez said.

“[Remulla] mentioned that it is better that we address it in a proper forum. I heard there are allegations of certain business dealings. As of now, I have no paper or any documents that specify or even indicate association [with Teves],” he added.

Benitez said issues like this must be handled by proper authorities as it is happening under different circumstances.

He said that this is not just ordinary dealings he could just answer, based on what is being asked.

The mayor further said that he and Teves were together from 2013 to 2016, when Benitez was then a legislator.

He added that Teves is an active member of the Visayan Bloc, composed of 51 member-congressmen in the House of Representatives.

It’s heartbreaking for me to see this kind of situation, but that’s the law. That’s something as a matter of principle, as a matter of being a public servant that I will never exchange or even bend for anyone,” Benitez said.

Earlier, Teves, after the “terrorist” designation, accused Benitez of allegedly “betraying” him.

Alam niyo naman boss ko si Albee Benitez, ‘di ba? Ka-negosyo ko rin si Albee Benitez. Kaibigan ko pero ngayon nga ‘di na ako pinapansin,” Teves said.

Teves added he received information that his friends, and even his sons, would soon be designated as terrorists.

Sige nga kung isasama niyo itong mga anak ko, tignan natin kung kaya niyong isama si Albee Benitez sa terror group. Tingnan natin kung fair kayo,” the solon said.

He also wants Benitez to pay his alleged “personal debt.”

Ayoko sana na pangalanan kita, pero masyado na akong iniipit… pero boss pakibayaran mo naman ‘yung utang mo sa akin. Maawa ka naman sa pamilya ko,” Teves said.

Teves has not returned to the Philippines since March of this year, after he was accused of being the mastermind in the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and nine others in Pamplona town on March 4./With reports from PNA / MS, WDJ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *