‘The plot thickens’ – Teves’ lawyer Topacio
The lawyer of embattled Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves Jr. on Monday said that his client was denied by the House of Representatives to attend the plenary session of the Ethics Committee via zoom to explain his side of the story to his colleagues and his constituents.
“Despite several requests, Congressman Teves was not allowed to talk via teleconference to explain his side so that the public would know the truth behind the issues,” Teves’s counsel Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said.
Topacio complained that it seemed that “the plot thickens” against his client for before it was only the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) that are circling on Teves, now it seems that House is also going hard against him.
Topacio yesterday appealed, particularly to government agencies looking into the recent murder of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo “not to be obsessed” with Teves by making him look guilty for any accused or “suspect is considered innocent unless proven otherwise.”
“They must follow all the leads and look at all the angles,” Topacio said as he accused the government agencies handling the case of “resorting to trial by publicity.”
“That only shows that they have a weak case so they must justify it on the bar of public opinion,” Topacio said.
Teves was supposed to talk to the Ethics Committee through a teleconference yesterday (March 20) afternoon as he remained outside of the country but failed.
According to Topacio, Teves is facing a very serious threat in his life.
Meanwhile, Teves’s secretary yesterday filed a violation of human rights case before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) against the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) personnel, which is under the DILG, who recently arrested and detained her for at least five days together with her husband with “no probable cause.”
Hanna May Oray, accompanied by her lawyer Toby Diokno, filed the case yesterday afternoon with the CHR claiming that she was coerced and intimidated by the still unnamed CIDG personnel to allegedly pin down Teves in the recent killing of Degamo.
The CIDG is the lead agency in conducting raids at Teves’s house and other properties in Negros Oriental.
“I was told to cooperate with them and testify against Cong. Teves or they will destroy my life by filing multiple charges against me,” Oray told reporters yesterday at a press conference in Quezon City.
Oray said that she was also accused by a certain CIDG officer of being a drug addict and was told that the police found a hand grenade at their house and it could land her in jail for long years.
“I was even told to sign an affidavit admitting that it was me who paid the money for the gunmen, but I am just a secretary responsible for paying the salaries of the security guards and other household workers,” Oray added.
Oray and her husband Horacleo Oray were arrested last March 10 but she was released last March 15 without any charges and also with no presentation of counsel, her lawyer said.
“She is traumatized as she suffered emotional torture” during her detention, Diokno also said.
Her husband is still being detained as the CIDG claimed that the two firearms recovered under his care have expired licenses.
“The firearms are duly licensed during the raid but a few days after the licenses were revoked,” Diokno said.
The lawyer said that they first filed the case at the CHR for his client was then detained but are also entertaining other options.