Cong. Teves condemns brutal killing of Gov. Degamo, denies involvement
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo ‘Arnie’ Teves Jr. has spoken up on the brutal killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo.
The lawmaker made his statement through a video on social media, which was published on Monday, March 6, 2023. He condemned the governor’s murder and denied any involvement in the crime.
“Ito po si Kuya Arnie, nakikiramay sa pamilya ng namatayan. Ang mga ganitong pangyayari ng patayan ay hindi ko gusto at hindi kanais-nais,” said Teves, who is considered one of the late governor’s political enemies, through a pre-recorded video.
(This is Kuya Arnie, sympathizing with the family of the deceased. I do not favor these types of incidents of killing.)
The 16-minute video began with Teves disclosing that he is currently still abroad for treatment. He then proceeded in debunking reports that he had a hand in Degamo’s killing on March 4, saying he had no motive in doing so.
“Kung may balak man ako o may kakayahan na gawin ito, tandaan niyo – kung may balak man ako o may kakayahan na gawin ito, eh di sana ginawa ko na to bago pa mag election,” Teves said.
(If I had a plan and the capability to do this, I would have done it before the elections.)
“Ano yung motibo kung ngayon ko gagawin? Diba, hindi rin maging benepisyaryo ako at ang kapatid (Henry Teves) ko dahil kung mawala ang gobernador, and uupo man ang vice governor,” he added.
(What is my motive if I do it now? It won’t benefit me or my brother because if the governor dies, the one who takes his seat is the vice governor.)
Negros Oriental Vice Governor Carlo Jorge Joan Reyes was sworn in as the new governor shortly after Degamo’s killing.
Teves’ brother, Henry, ran against Degamo in the May 2022 Local and National Elections. Henry was proclaimed winner by a slim margin but Degamo contested it.
Election officials ruled in favor of Degamo’s protest, and allowed him to credit the votes made on a nuisance candidate namely Ruel Degamo, ultimately surpassing the number of votes Henry garnered.
Degamo returned as governor last October 2022.
Teves also said he learned through his sources that several personalities wanted to pin the blame of Degamo’s killing on him.
“Ang iba gustong umepal, gustong magpasikat para sa kanilang sariling kapakanan… Wala po akong pinapatamaan pero alam niyo kung sino kayo,” he said.
(Some just like to draw attention, they like to be famous for their own gain. I am not hitting anybody but you know who you are.)
The Negros Oriental House member also asked for President Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. to reinstate his license to carry firearms as protection.
“Nakakatakot ang mga ganitong pangyayari… Ang ganitong pangyayari ay hindi kanais-nais at hindi maganda sa progreso para sa aking distrito sa aming probinsya… Sa totoo lang, wala kaming makukuha nga benepisyo sa pangyayaring ito,” added Teves.
(These incidents are scary. These incidents are uncalled for and not good for the progress of my district and our province. To be honest, we won’t benefit from this incident.)
While condemning the ruthless killing that claimed not only Degamo’s lives but also eight more individuals, Teves raised several questions on the security plan made at the governor’s residence in Pamplona town where the massacre occurred.
Citing the closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage authorities released, the lawmaker wondered whether some of Degamo’s security personnel knew the gunmen, three of whom happened to be former army members.
“Pinapasok lang, ganung lamang yung mga tao. Sa aking sariling pag-aanalisa, parang magkakakila sila (gunmen and members of Degamo’s security team),” said Teves.
(They went in just like that. Based on my own analysis, it seems they know each other.)
Teves also pointed out that even the dogs did not bark at the gunmen standing right outside the site where the distribution of assistance was being held.
Investigations continue to determine the motive and the mastermind behind Degamo’s killing.
As of Sunday, March 5, police have already arrested four and killed one of the 10 suspected gunmen.
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