DOJ: Big criminal group involving Teves possibly behind illegal activities in Negros Oriental

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 27) — A big criminal organization involving Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves is possibly at the center of illegal activities in the Visayan province, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Monday.

“We believe that is a criminal organization that we are dealing with already,” Justice Sec. Jesus Crispin ‘Boying’ Remulla told CNN Philippines’ The Source. “As people have been saying… there is a big possibility that Congressman Arnie Teves is involved in all of this.”

Suspects tagged Teves as orchestrator of the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on March 4.

Degamo’s camp said it will file a complaint against the suspended lawmaker for his alleged ownership of a small town lottery franchise and operation of e-sabong (cockfighting).

This is against a provision of the Constitution that prohibits a senator or member of the House of Representatives to directly or indirectly, "[shall] be interested financially in any contract with, or in any franchise or special privilege granted by the Government, or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including any government-owned or controlled corporation, or its subsidiary, during his term of office."

Teves is also facing multiple murder complaints for supposedly ordering the killing of four people in 2019.

Remulla said the DOJ has a list of 17 others who he claimed were also ordered killed by Teves. Meanwhile, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, the widow of the slain governor, tagged Teves in the deaths of 20-30 people in the province.

Authorities said they will conduct a case build up on the issue to possibly include exhuming the bodies of victims, Remulla said.

Teves denied involvement in Degamo's assassination and his lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said his client, who has yet to return to the Philippines after a trip to the United States for medical reasons, is not hiding

The House of Representatives suspended Teves for his refusal to return to the country after his travel authority expired on March 9.