Prosecutors expected to issue resolution on charges vs. Teves over Degamo slay

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(File photo of former Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Wednesday said its prosecutors could soon issue a resolution on the charges of multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder, and multiple attempted murder against former Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said the law may soon catch up with Teves once the charges against him have been filed in court and an arrest warrant is issued over the killing of Governor Roel Degamo.

"I was given a word that looks like they are about to resolve it already. ‘Yun 'yung hinihintay natin, ‘yung resolution para ma-file na ‘yung Degamo cases against Teves," he said.

"And when that’s filed, everything will become faster now for the arm of law kasi may duty of rendition na lahat ng member states ng United Nations na hulihin siya and meron na siyang arrest warrant," he added.

[Translation: "I was given a word that looks like they are about to resolve it already. That's what we're waiting for, the resolution so we can file the Degamo cases against Teves. And when that's filed, everything will move faster now for the arm of law because there will be a duty of rendition to all member states of the United Nations to capture him and there is an arrest warrant.]

Teves has repeatedly denied involvement in Degamo’s killing on March 4. He also refused to return to the Philippines, citing threats to his life.

In a historic first, Teves was expelled by the House of Representatives last week for disorderly behavior and violating the chamber’s code of conduct.

The House has directed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to conduct a special election in the third district of Negros Oriental for Teves’ replacement. 

Comelec Chairman George Garcia said it is not feasible to include the special election in the upcoming barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls in October. The earliest it can be held is December 2023, he noted.

However, Garcia told CNN Philippines in a separate interview that polls for the congressional district could be held in early 2024.