Negros Oriental Representative Arnie Teves asked the leadership of the House of Representatives to allow him to take a leave of absence for two months because of the “very grave threat” to his life and his family.
Teves' name was implicated in the shooting at the house of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo. Degamo was killed, along with eight others, and 17 were injured.
“The undersigned, Representative of the Third District of Negros Oriental, humbly plead and request that he be granted a two-month leave of absence due to very grave security threat to his life and his family, to be reckoned from March 9, 2023, ” Teves said in a letter sent to the office of Speaker Martin romualdez of Leyte.
“Rest assured that he will come back as soon as the threat will be dealt with accordingly under our law laws, and with the aid of the government. Thank you for your kind attention,” the congressman continued.
The letter is dated March 9, the same day the House ethics and privileges committee said Teves must explain within five days why he is not attending the assembly session.
Teves left the country to get medical treatment in America. But his travel authority issued by the House leadership is only valid until March 9.
Negros Oriental Rep. Teves asks for 2-month leave from the House
“We want to consider his side, give him an opportunity to explain. So that the public will know that we have not neglected while we consider our colleague,” said Coop-NATCCO party-list Representative Felimon Espares, chairperson of the committee.
“This is to help our institution [that] will not be destroyed. We are always protecting the institution,” added Espares.
Romualdez had previously encouraged Teves to go home and answer the allegations against him. He said Teves refused to return to the country for fear of his safety and that of his family.
“He expressed fear for the safety of his person and his family, saying this is why he refuses to return home at this time,” he said.
Teves denied that he had anything to do with the killing of Degamo and the other crimes he was accused of.