Teves still unlikely to physically attend House probe

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25) – Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, tagged as mastermind in the killing of Gov. Roel Degamo, remained firm that he will not physically attend the hearing of the House ethics committee set for May 29.

"I don't have to be there for my voice and my side to be heard," Teves said in a press conference on Thursday, insisting the House ethics panel should allow him to virtually join the hearing.

The embattled congressman added that he will not go home until he sees a "semblance of fairness" in the investigation.

"Sa akin lang sa Kamara, dapat pakinggan nila ako. Bakit ang ibang congressman puwede mag-Zoom?" Teves asked.

[Translation: The House should listen to me. Why are other congressmen allowed to attend hearings through Zoom?]

Teves also claimed he is being "politically persecuted" by being barred from attending the hearing virtually.

The 60-day suspension that the House of Representatives previously imposed on Teves ended on Monday. But since he has not showed up yet, Teves is now considered to be absent without official leave (AWOL).

House Speaker Martin Romualdez also warned that the House may impose another disciplinary action against Teves if his unprecedented absence from work continues.

READ: House speaker warns Teves of possible sanction after suspension

The committee will meet on May 29 to decide tougher sanctions that might be imposed on Teves for his failure to report for work despite the panel's appeal.

The panel's vice chairman Raul Angelo Bongalon said the committee's only remaining options on Teves' fate are another period of suspension, slapping of penalties, or expulsion.

READ: House ethics panel eyes release of recommendation on Teves’ fate on May 29