NBI files murder complaints vs. Rep. Teves over Degamo killing

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed murder complaints on Wednesday against suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. over the killing of Governor Roel Degamo last March.

Carrying boxes of documents, members of the NBI – led by Director Medardo de Lemos – arrived at the Department of Justice (DOJ) office to lodge the complaints against the lawmaker who remains at large.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla told reporters the NBI is suing Teves for murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder.

However, the investigation bureau has yet to release a copy of the complaints to the media.

Aside from Degamo, nine other people died in the March 4 massacre in Pamplona town, while 17 others were wounded. The slain governor was in the middle of a meeting with some of his constituents when several armed men entered his residential compound and opened fire.

Remulla earlier said Teves appears to be the main orchestrator of the killings, claiming he funded the planning and the firearms used. Teves has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Teves’ lawyer also told CNN Philippines’ Balitaan that he believes the cases filed are not airtight, as he cited reports that some suspect-witnesses recently began to refuse to give their statements to authorities.

This was reportedly after the suspect-witnesses – who were previously represented by public attorneys – were able to get the services of private lawyers.

“Sabi nila solid ang testimonial evidence against Congressman Teves. Eh ayan, may mga recantations pala noong nagkaroon na ng lawyers of their own choice itong mga witnesses,” Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said.

[Translation: They said they have solid testimonial evidence against Congressman Teves. But now, there are recantations after witnesses got lawyers of their own choice.]

On Tuesday, the DOJ chief said he received information that Teves will fly back to the country on Wednesday, but the latter dismissed this as “fake news.”

The congressman faced a 60-day suspension from the House in March due to his failure to return to the Philippines from his medical treatment in the United States after his travel authority expired. The suspension runs until May 22.

Earlier this month, the Justice department bared that Teves sought political asylum from Timor-Leste, but the application was denied.

Please refresh this page for updates.