Suspects claim police pressuring them to pin Teves brothers in sugar mill raid

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 29) The three suspects arrested during the raid on the sugar mill of Pryde Henry Teves have claimed that the police are pressuring them to tag the former Negros Oriental governor and his brother, congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr., as the ones who gave the order to bury the firearms at the site.

Lawyer Michael Mella said his clients relayed to him the supposed pressures from the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).

"Prine-pressure sila na aminin na ang mga armas, alleged firearms na na-recover during the raid last time, ang nag-utos daw na mag-baon noon ay si Congressman Teves as well as yung kapatid niya na si Governor Pryde," Mella said in an interview on Wednesday.

[Translation: They were pressured to admit that the alleged firearms recovered during the raid last time, were ordered to be buried by Congressman Teves as well as his brother Governor Pryde.]

Mella alleged that the police also threatened his clients with criminal cases should they refuse to talk.

He added he has asked the suspects' families to go to the Commission on Human Rights to file a complaint.

Multiple guns, explosives, and millions of pesos in cash were seized following the raids on HDJ Bayawan Agri-Venture Corp. Tolong compound, a mill in Negros Oriental owned by Pryde Teves.

The former governor previously said he was willing to cooperate with authorities investigating the case.

RELATED: Pryde Teves: I have limited control over 52-hectare property raided by authorities

The PNP refuted the accusations, saying the suspects themselves were the ones who pointed authorities to the recovered weapons.

"Malinaw po dito may mga baril at pampasabog pong nakita doon at hindi po kailangang pilitin dahil sila po mismo nga ang nagturo saan ibinaon nitong mga narekober nating matataas na kalibre ng baril at mga pampasabog," PNP spokesperson Jean Fajardo said.

[Translation: It's clear that there were guns and explosives in the area, and there was no need to force them because they themselves showed authorities where the weapons were buried.]

Meanwhile, Rep. Teves' lawyer Ferdinand Topacio appealed to the national government, particularly to Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos, to investigate the matter.

CNN Philippines' Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.