Pins blame on Electona
Former Governor Pryde Henry Teves has filed his counter-affidavit before the Department of Justice Wednesday, questioning the manner in which the search on the premises of the HDJ Bayawan Agriventure Inc., formerly Tolong Sugar Milling Company, was conducted.
It can be recalled that the search, which was ordered by the Executive Judge of Mandaue, Cebu, resulted in the recovery of several unlicensed high-powered firearms, ammunition and millions of pesos in cash.
The search teams also used a backhoe to dig the premises of the sugar mill, where more firearms were discovered, along with partially burnt identification cards and a certificate of at least one of the suspects in the March 4 massacre that killed nine people, including Gov. Roel Degamo, in Pamplona town.
Three persons were apprehended by authorities during that search, among them was the owner of the security agency hired by the HDJ Bayawan Agriventure Inc, Nigel Electona. Police said Electona also had a photograph of Degamo’s family as well as a sketch of his Pamplona compound.
In his Counter-Affidavit, Teves said only Electona knows about the firearms uncovered outside of the sugar mill’s compound. He said it was Electona who looked for a backhoe and a backhoe operator on March 7 and also moved the white van containing cash on March 9.
Teves, the president of the HDJ Bayawan Agriventure, Inc., also questioned the conduct of the search. He presented a video showing a member of the search team changing the angle of the CCTV camera away from the area searched. Teves said this act to hide their activities raises a lot of questions.
Teves said the object of the search was the compound of the sugar mill but most of the firearms recovered were outside of the sugar mill’s compound, but within the 51-hectare area, where more than 200 families lived.
He said the search took several days without the presence of witnesses, who were only called to sign the inventory.
Teves said he does not own the HDJ compound and owns only 10 percent of the company,
Describing the search as a modern day witchhunt, Teves questioned why he is being singled out.
Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla said the counter affidavit of Teves will be submitted to the prosecutors for their evaluation.