The motion to cancel the passport of former Negros Oriental representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, Jr. has been submitted for resolution, his lawyer said.
“Submitted na for resolution ‘yung motion to cancel the passport of Congressman Arnolfo Teves,” Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, the legal counsel of Teves, said in an interview.
“We already submitted our opposition to the motion of the prosecution and they already replied to our opposition. So I suppose the matter is now up to the court to decide,” Topacio added.
Topacio was not present during the hearing on the murder case against Teves and others for the alleged killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and others on March 4, 2023.
He said their presence was “futile.”
Earlier, both the prosecution and the defense conducted a pre-marking of the evidence.
“Under the circumstances, our presence there would be futile because the other incidents do not involve our client. Rest assured that we are fully participating in all other proceedings wherein the presence of our client is not required,” he said.
Topacio said they also regularly report to Teves, who has yet to return to the country amid the allegations against him.
He was last spotted in Timor-Leste.
Meanwhile, the motion to cancel the passport of Lloyd Garcia, one of the accused in murder of Degamo, was also submitted.
Atty. Paris Real, Garcia’s lawyer, said the motion was submitted on December 4.
In a separate interview, Atty. Andrei Bon Tagum, the legal counsel of the Degamo camp, said the pre-trial will be conducted on February 28.
“Let us just let the wheels of justice roll. While we earlier said that the wheels are turning quite slowly, not according to what we expect, okay, but we believe that it is rolling very, very definitely and certainly,” Tagum said.
“So as the mayor earlier said, she is already happy that justice is being served just because the proceedings are ongoing,” he added.
Asked about the possibility that the case against Teves may be archived, Tagum said they were “still hoping for the very best.”
Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, widow of the late governor, also attended the pre-marking activity. She said that in this case, they really understand what due process means.
“The other camp also would like to avail of the legal remedy available to them. Naintindihan din namin ‘yun. This time, I could really say na, oo nga, tama din talaga ‘yung due process,” she said.
“But talagang ‘yung aggrieved side, ‘yung victim side, doon mo mapi-feel talaga minsan na parang ayaw mo na lang nun … medyo matagal-tagal talaga,” she added.
Degamo expressed hope that the public would root for the victims.
“Wala namang mas lalakas pa siguro sa prayer. Mahirap i-explain one by one to every person pero ‘yung lagi ko sinasabi na ‘yung nangyari sa amin, ‘wag na lang mangyari sa amin. Tulungan ninyo na lang kami to pray that justice would be served,” she said.
She said this would be a favor to Negros Oriental should justice prevail.
Teves was designated as a terrorist along with 11 others by the Anti-Terrorism Council in August due to alleged killings and harassment in Negros Oriental.
The House of Representatives in August 2023 voted to expel Teves for disorderly conduct and his continued absence despite an expired travel authority.
He has repeatedly denied the allegations against him. (GMA Integrated News)