‘Wala kang aabuting gasgas’: Dela Rosa presses Teves to surface
MANILA, Philippines — Suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. will not get even a scratch on his body if he surfaces and face all accusations against him here in the Philippines, Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa assured him on Monday.
This assurance comes after the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs headed by Dela Rosa rejected on Monday the request of the beleaguered congressman to virtually attend its probe on the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and other political killings in the country.
According to Dela Rosa, he was able to talk to Teves by phone on Sunday where the latter explained why he could not physically attend the probe.
“Ang rason niya he’s under threat at sigurado siyang papatayin daw talaga siya ‘pag andito siya,” said the senator, who is leading the probe as chairman of the committee.
(His reason is that he’s under threat and he’s sure that he will really be killed if he’s here.)
“Sabi ko, ako mismo mag-bodyguard sa’yo sa Senado, safe ka. But sabi niya: ‘O dyan sa Senado pwede ako safe, pero paglabas ko, mamatay ako.’ With that I respect his decision, and afterwards sige siyang tawag-tawag sa cell phone ko, but hindi ko na sinagot,’ he said.
(I told him I will be your bodyguard in the Senate, you’ll be safe. But he said: ‘I can be safe there in the Senate but once I go out, I’ll be killed.’ With that, I respected his decision and after that, he kept calling my cellphone but I didn’t answer anymore.)
After learning from Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla that there is no standing warrant of arrest against the lawmaker, Dela Rosa pressed Teves to face the probe, saying the panel would wait for him even until evening.
The senator also asked Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. during the same hearing if he could assure Teves’ safety should he decide to face the charges against him.
“Can you give us an assurance na hindi mamatay si Congressman Teves ‘pag pumunta siya dito ? Papunta at palabas, walang babaril sa kanya?” the senator asked, to which Abalos answered yes.
(Can you give us an assurance that Congressman Teves won’t die if he comes here? That no one will shoot him on his way in and out?)
“Ako mismo ang magbabantay, sir. I assure you 100 percent,’’ Abalos said.
(I personally will be the one to guard him, sir. I assure you 100 percent.)
“So kung mamatay siya, ikaw ang manangot?” Dela Rosa asked again.
(So if he dies, you will be held responsible?)
“Yes sir,” Abalos again said.
With this, the senator called for Teves to come home if he is abroad or surface if he is just in the Philippines.
“Pa-escortan ka ni Secretary Abalos, ng police at kahit isang gasgas ng katawan, wala kang aabuting gasgas, if you’re listening right now, Congressman Teves,” Dela Rosa added.
(Secretary Abalos, the police will escort you and you won’t get a single scratch on your body if you’re listening right now, Congressman Teves.)
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