House eyes ‘some action’ on Teves before adjournment of session in June

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — The House of Representatives may decide on the status of suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. before Congress adjourns sine die on June 2, House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said Wednesday.

Velasco said the House Committee on Ethics is expected to submit a recommendation on Teves if the lawmaker still fails to report for work when his 60-day suspension ends on May 22.

Any recommendation from the panel would need the vote of two-thirds of all House members in the plenary to be implemented, Velasco added.

The Secretary General, however, cannot say what possible actions can be taken, saying Teves' case has no precedent in the House.

“Hopefully before the end of the session, there will be some action," Velasco said. "First, a recommendation from the Committee on Ethics and then there will be voting in the plenary kung okay yung recommendations ng Committee on Ethics. In the end, it’s really the whole membership who will have to decide what to do in the case of Congressman Arnie Teves."

“Hindi natin masabi kung ano yung gagawin talaga ng Committee on Ethics on this kasi walang precedent eh, na after the 60-day suspension, ano bang mangyayari," he added. "Wala eh. Wala tayong mabanggit na precedent eh. So it’s a new game for the Committee on Ethics and the House of Representatives."

[Translation: We cannot say what the Committee on Ethics will actually do on this because there is no precedent, that after the 60-day suspension what will happen? We have no precedent to cite.]

Velasco said the House has not received any word from Teves about his supposed return to the Philippines on Wednesday.

The lawmaker earlier dismissed as “fake news” the announcement of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla that he will be flying back to the Philippines within the day.

Velasco said Teves’ brother, former congressman Pryde Henry Teves, called him to say that he also has not gotten any confirmation from the embattled lawmaker about his supposed comeback.

Despite conflicting information about Teves’ return, Velasco assured the suspended congressman the House will provide him the necessary protection once he returns to the country and goes to the House of Representatives.