Teves not off gun raps hook

Department of Justice spokesperson Atty. Mico Clavano over the weekend downplayed the dismissal of one of eight illegal possession of firearms charges filed against Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves.

“That’s just one,” Clavano said, emphasizing that the DoJ, in line with Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla’s order, dismisses weak cases instead of filing them in court.

In the case of the dismissed gun charge against Teves, tagged by the Philippine National Police in the killing of three persons in 2019, Clavano said it may not support the allegation there’s a conspiracy to possess the firearms illegally.

Teves, who has sought a two-month extension of his medical 28 February to 9 March 2023 medical leave travel from the House of Representatives, had denied having a hand in the 4 March murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and eight others.

The House under Speaker Martin Romualdez had asked Teves to come home to face the allegations against him. Remulla, on the other hand, reminded Teves that flight is tantamount to admitting guilt.
On the gun raps against Teves, Clavano said there are at least seven other illegal possession of firearms charges that DoJ prosecutors are looking into.

The dismissed complaint was filed by the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group. The DoJ said it was not “a proper subject for an inquest” since Teves was not arrested during a search conducted by the police.

Insufficient evidence

The resolution, likewise, cited insufficient evidence to proceed with a regular preliminary investigation against Teves.

Lawmen raided several residences owned by Teves in Negros Oriental starting on 10 March, confiscating various firearms and ammunition.

A secretary of Teves had gone to the Commission on Human Rights to file a complaint against the PNP-CIDG for allegedly confiscating licensed guns owned by her husband.

The licenses of the guns were then purportedly revoked by the PNP and filed illegal possession of firearms complaints against the secretary and her husband.

Teves’ lawyer Ferdinand Topacio said the police had been pressuring the secretary to testify against her lawmaker boss.

Tribune is still verifying at press time if the dismissed gun rap was the same as the one filed against Teves and his secretary, along with the latter’s husband.

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