Prosecutors to decide if case can prosper
MANILA – The findings of the preliminary hearings on the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo have been submitted to prosecutors who will determine if the pieces of evidence are enough for the filing of criminal cases.
As expected, Negros Oriental (3rd District) Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., the alleged masterminded, was a no-show during the proceedings Monday at the Department of Justice here in Manila.
Teves’ counsels did not file a counter-affidavit to refute the allegations but instead submitted a motion to dismiss.
The fugitive Solon’s camp had earlier asked the DOJ to inhibit from the preliminary investigation, claiming that Justice Sec. Jesus Crispin Remulla’s public statements against him had prejudged the case.
Likewise present during the proceedings were representatives of Degamo’s widow, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, and her lawyer Andrei Tagum.
Nigel Electona, a former Dumaguete cop who heads the security of HDJ Bayawan Agri-Ventures Corp. owned by the Teves family, was also present.
Authorities found firearms and ammunition during previous raids at the HDJ compound in Bayawan City.
Helicopter pilot Capt. Lloyd Garcia, whom prosecutors said ferried the attackers after the ambush at Degamo’s residential compound on March 4, formally denied the allegations.
He said the passenger capacity of the aircraft makes the prosecution’s theory unlikely.
Defense counsels led by Ferdinand Topacio maintained insufficient evidence against Teves, and that the case is largely conjecture.
On May 31, the House of Representatives slapped Teves with another 60-day suspension, and stripped him of membership from three committees — Games & Amusement where he is vice chair, Legislative Franchises, and Nuclear Energy.
“The Committee found that the unauthorized absences of Rep. Arnie Teves Jr., aggravated by his act of seeking political asylum in Timor-Leste, resulted in his failure to perform his duties as House member,” read the Ethics committee recommendation. (Benjamin Putla/PNA)