Teves knew he will be implicated in a crime since January — lawyer

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 14) — Negros Oriental 3rd district Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., who was tagged as the mastermind behind the killing of Gov. Roel Degamo, knew that he would be blamed for a crime in January, the lawmaker’s counsel said Tuesday.

“As early as Jan. 11, we held a press conference together with Congressman Teves and we had sounded the alarm after we received confidential information which were later found out to be accurate and reliable that raids would be conducted on his residence and with the instructions that if evidence against him will not be found, then they would be fabricated and that by hook or by crook he would be implicated in a crime,” lawyer Ferdinand Topacio told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

Last week, authorities raided properties owned by Teves’ family, wherein several firearms were seized. This was after a suspect named a “Congressman Teves” as the person who orchestrated the assassination of Degamo on Mar. 4.

Topacio said the raids did not follow the proper protocols, and the items collected were only planted.

“That’s why we are saying that the source of the firearms and explosives found on his residences and other properties should be a source of mystery because having been informed in advance of an impending raid, common sense dictates that assuming without conceding that there are effects and proceeds of criminal activities in your properties, you would conceal them,” he added.

Teves has already denied his involvement in the crime, saying he and his family will not benefit from killing Degamo.

The congressman has yet to return to the Philippines since he went to the United States on Feb. 28 for medical treatment.

While he was bewildered and concerned about the allegations made against him, Teves said he is eager to face these to clear his name, his lawyer said.

However, Topacio said his client can only return to the country once his safety is secured and that there will be fair play in the case.