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Teves,12 others tagged terrorists

The Anti-Terrorism Council or ATC has designated Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. as a terrorist for allegedly masterminding the assassination of Gov. Roel Degamo last 4 March, which also resulted in the deaths of nine others. The ATC named the congressman, who had gone into hiding, as the leader of the Teves Terrorist Group, which allegedly included as members his younger brother, Pryde Henry Teves, and purported bagman Marvin Miranda. Pryde was unseated by the Commission on Elections after a recount of the votes cast in the 2022 Negros Oriental gubernatorial election showed that Degamo had won. Degamo was killed in a commando-style attack at his residential compound in Pamplona town. The slain governor’s wife, Janice, is the mayor of Pamplona. The assault happened just weeks after the Supreme Court upheld the Comelec’s proclamation of Degamo as governor. Also tagged as terrorists were Nigel Electona, Tomasino Aledro, Rogelio Antipolo, Hannah Mae Oray, Rommel Pattaguan, Winrich Isturis, John Louie Gonyon, Dahniel Lora, Eulogio Gonyon Jr. and Jomarie Catubay. In a three-page resolution dated 26 July and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin that was released yesterday, the ATC said Pryde and Electona “provided material support” to Teves in furtherance of his alleged terrorist activities. “Investigation also revealed that Hannah Mae Sumero Oray handled the operational funds for the killings while Marvin H. Miranda acted as organizer and recruiter of personnel for specific terrorist attacks,” the ATC said. In April, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla revealed the government’s intention to designate Teves as a terrorist, saying that his group’s alleged “activities that led to the killings are all covered by the Anti-Terror Law, [including] the recruitment, financing, purchase of firearms, and their distribution.”   In hiding Teves has refused to come home after being located last in Timor-Leste, claiming his life was in danger. There was talk he was already in the Philippines under the protection of a former high government official. The House of Representatives had twice suspended Teves for refusing to heed Speaker Martin Romualdez’s plea to come home to face the charges against him. The Philippine National Police had filed a separate complaint against Teves before the Department of Justice last March over the alleged political killing of three other persons in Negros Oriental in 2019. A Degamo lawyer said the Teveses could be linked to as many as 60 killings in Negros Oriental. In reaction, Pryde said in a radio interview that his lawyers would appeal the ATC resolution. He expressed dismay that his right to travel and earn a livelihood would be affected by the order. Saying he would not leave Negros Oriental despite the tagging, the younger Teves said he would be the last to resort to terrorism because he had been a victim of violence. Meanwhile, Ferdinand Topacio, a lawyer of Congressman Teves, lambasted the ATC whose order, he said, demonstrated the government’s prejudgment of the case and “desperation” to take his client into custody. “Since day one of the Degamo killing, the government has mobilized all the resources at its disposal, starting with immediately tagging Teves as the mastermind thereof without investigation, conducting illegal searches on his properties, laying siege to his powers and prerogatives as a member of the House, embarking on a massive media campaign to discredit him and prejudice the minds of the public against him, among other things, all in an obsessive attempt to blame him for a crime at the expense of his constitutional rights,” Topacio said. Topacio questioned why the government had to use the ATC against Teves, in a case for which the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 was not “designed.” “The agencies of government, having eggs on their faces due to the recantation of all the key witnesses, the lack of evidence against Representative Teves, the public backlash against his obvious persecution, and the embarrassing failure of the authorities to bully him into returning to the country in spite of grave and serious threats to his life has expectedly weaponized the Anti-Terror Act by using it for the purpose for which it was not designed,” he said. When it was first floated that Teves would be tagged as a terrorist, he posted a video of himself wearing Muslim garb and laughing. The post Teves,12 others tagged terrorists appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource: tribune tribuneAug 1st, 2023

Teves eyes remedies for terror designation

Available remedies are being eyed by the camp of suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. after the Anti-Terrorism Council or ATC designated the lawmaker as a terrorist. Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, counsel of Teves, said they had expected the designation as it was mentioned earlier by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla. “On our part, we were just waiting for a formal declaration by the ATC so we can file the appropriate remedies, either administrative or court,” Topacio said. On 26 July, ATC Resolution Number 43 was approved and was signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin designating Teves, his brother former governor Pryde Henry Teves, and 11 others as terrorists over several alleged killings and harassment in Negros Oriental. The ATC said their violations included committing terrorism; planning, training, preparing, and facilitating the commission of terrorism; recruitment to and membership in a terrorist organization; and providing material support to terrorists. With the designation, the Anti-Money Laundering Council froze Representative Teves’ assets. “The Anti-Money Laundering Council’s issuance of a freeze order was based on the Anti-Terrorism Act’s Section 25 in relation to Section 36,” AMLC legal officer Luis Anthony Warren said at a Palace press briefing. He added: “Upon the designation of an individual or organization, it is ministerial upon the part of the Anti-Money Laundering Council to issue an ex parte order to freeze without delay the assets of the subjects in this case. So, that’s all.” Topacio said their camp had no knowledge yet of the matter but that they would have remedies for it under the law. The solon was tagged as the mastermind of the assassination of the late Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on 4 March which also left nine others dead and several wounded. Degamo’s widow, Pamplona town Mayor Janice Degamo, said the designation of Teves as a terrorist gave hope and a sense of security to the people of Negros Oriental and it vindicated the victims who had given their testimonies.   Light at the end of tunnel She said they are seeing the light at the end of a dark tunnel, and this will have a ripple effect. Meanwhile, DoJ Assistant Secretary and spokesperson, Atty. Mico Clavano, yesterday said all the assets, including bank deposits, of Rep. Teves, his brother Henry, and the 11 other persons designated as terrorists are expected to be frozen within the week. Clavano said this type of process is meant to be quick “precisely because we want to prevent the dissipation of assets.” Also designated terrorists, aside from the Teves brothers, were Marvin H. Miranda, Rogelio C. Antipolo,  Rommel Pattaguan, Winrich B. Isturis, John Louie Gonyon, Dahniel Lora, Eulogio Gonyon Jr., Tomasino Aledro, Nigel Electona, Jomarie Catubay and Hannah Mae Sumero Oray. Clavano, who is also the ATC deputy spokesperson, said the council will issue a Sanction Freeze Order or SFO to banks relative to all assets of the designees. The post Teves eyes remedies for terror designation appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2023

Teves,12 others tagged terrorists

The Anti-Terrorism Council or ATC has designated Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. as a terrorist for allegedly masterminding the assassination of Gov. Roel Degamo last 4 March, which also resulted in the deaths of nine others. The ATC named the congressman, who had gone into hiding, as the leader of the Teves Terrorist Group, which allegedly included as members his younger brother, Pryde Henry Teves, and purported bagman Marvin Miranda. Pryde was unseated by the Commission on Elections after a recount of the votes cast in the 2022 Negros Oriental gubernatorial election showed that Degamo had won. Degamo was killed in a commando-style attack at his residential compound in Pamplona town. The slain governor’s wife, Janice, is the mayor of Pamplona. The assault happened just weeks after the Supreme Court upheld the Comelec’s proclamation of Degamo as governor. Also tagged as terrorists were Nigel Electona, Tomasino Aledro, Rogelio Antipolo, Hannah Mae Oray, Rommel Pattaguan, Winrich Isturis, John Louie Gonyon, Dahniel Lora, Eulogio Gonyon Jr. and Jomarie Catubay. In a three-page resolution dated 26 July and signed by Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin that was released yesterday, the ATC said Pryde and Electona “provided material support” to Teves in furtherance of his alleged terrorist activities. “Investigation also revealed that Hannah Mae Sumero Oray handled the operational funds for the killings while Marvin H. Miranda acted as organizer and recruiter of personnel for specific terrorist attacks,” the ATC said. In April, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla revealed the government’s intention to designate Teves as a terrorist, saying that his group’s alleged “activities that led to the killings are all covered by the Anti-Terror Law, [including] the recruitment, financing, purchase of firearms, and their distribution.”   In hiding Teves has refused to come home after being located last in Timor-Leste, claiming his life was in danger. There was talk he was already in the Philippines under the protection of a former high government official. The House of Representatives had twice suspended Teves for refusing to heed Speaker Martin Romualdez’s plea to come home to face the charges against him. The Philippine National Police had filed a separate complaint against Teves before the Department of Justice last March over the alleged political killing of three other persons in Negros Oriental in 2019. A Degamo lawyer said the Teveses could be linked to as many as 60 killings in Negros Oriental. In reaction, Pryde said in a radio interview that his lawyers would appeal the ATC resolution. He expressed dismay that his right to travel and earn a livelihood would be affected by the order. Saying he would not leave Negros Oriental despite the tagging, the younger Teves said he would be the last to resort to terrorism because he had been a victim of violence. Meanwhile, Ferdinand Topacio, a lawyer of Congressman Teves, lambasted the ATC whose order, he said, demonstrated the government’s prejudgment of the case and “desperation” to take his client into custody. “Since day one of the Degamo killing, the government has mobilized all the resources at its disposal, starting with immediately tagging Teves as the mastermind thereof without investigation, conducting illegal searches on his properties, laying siege to his powers and prerogatives as a member of the House, embarking on a massive media campaign to discredit him and prejudice the minds of the public against him, among other things, all in an obsessive attempt to blame him for a crime at the expense of his constitutional rights,” Topacio said. Topacio questioned why the government had to use the ATC against Teves, in a case for which the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2020 was not “designed.” “The agencies of government, having eggs on their faces due to the recantation of all the key witnesses, the lack of evidence against Representative Teves, the public backlash against his obvious persecution, and the embarrassing failure of the authorities to bully him into returning to the country in spite of grave and serious threats to his life has expectedly weaponized the Anti-Terror Act by using it for the purpose for which it was not designed,” he said. When it was first floated that Teves would be tagged as a terrorist, he posted a video of himself wearing Muslim garb and laughing. The post Teves,12 others tagged terrorists appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

ATC tags Teves, 12 others as ‘terrorist’

The Anti-Terrorism Council designated Negros Oriental Third District Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. as a terrorist for allegedly masterminding the 4 March slaying of Gov. Roel Degamo and 9 others. Teves was also named by the ATC as the leader of the "Teves Terrorist Group." Aside from Teves the council also tagged 11 others as terrorists, including his younger brother and former governor Pryde Henry Teves, and his alleged bagman Marvin Miranda. The ATC also tagged as among those involved in the so-called terrorist group were Teves' former bodyguard Nigel Electona, Tomasino Aledro, Rogelio Antipolo, Hannah Mae Oray, Rommel Pattaguan, Winrich Isturis, John Louie Gonyon, Dahniel Lora, Eulogio Gonyon Jr., and Jomarie Catubay. The ATC in its three-page resolution dated 26 July, said Rep. Teves was the alleged leader and mastermind of the group, while his brother and Electona "provided material support." "Investigation also reveals that Hannah Mae Sumero Oray handles the operational funds for the killings while Marvin H. Miranda acts as organizer and recruiter of personnel for specific terrorist attacks," the ATC said. With the designation, it ended a months-long process for the ATC to brand Teves as an alleged terrorist. The designation of Teves and his cohorts as terrorists was first disclosed by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla in April. Remulla said that Teves may be designated or proscribed as a terrorist. "In this case, the activities that led to the killing on 4 March all are covered under the anti-terror law: the recruitment, the financing, the purchase of firearms, the distribution of firearms," Remulla had said. The embattled Solon remains overseas and was last located in Timor-Leste, refusing to return to the Philippines due to purported threats to his life. He was suspended a second time due to his continued absence from his duties at the House of Representatives. The camp of Degamo had expressed support for the move to tag Teves as a terrorist, with lawyer Levito Baligod saying they had "concrete evidence" linking the embattled lawmaker to terror groups in Mindanao. The post ATC tags Teves, 12 others as ‘terrorist’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

Teves faces charges for financing terrorism

Former Negros Oriental lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. is facing a new complaint before the Department of Justice for allegedly financing terrorism and providing material support to terrorists......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsDec 13th, 2023

Red-tagged individuals have only themselves to blame

These human rights groups and activists have been haranguing the government for every perceived action that threatens their democratic space or their existence as an organization. They are always at the forefront, slamming the government and its officials who do not conform to their progressive and radical views. They rev up people into a frenzy and rally them against certain policies and programs that will neutralize the revolutionary activities of the armed left and its front organizations. They organize protest marches and rallies and call on the people to reject government initiatives to eradicate the more than 50-year-old communist urgency, like the establishment of the NTF-ELCAC, which has successfully stopped the resurrection of the communist rebels. The NTF-ELCAC is an ingenious program commenced in the previous Duterte administration, institutionalizing the government’s “whole of nation” approach in confronting the ongoing communist rebellion and against groups that are front organizations of the Communist Party of the Philippines or CPP. The socio-economic program of the NTF-ELCAC at the barangay level succeeded in dismantling the communist hold on the depressed and neglected barangays. It led to hundreds of NPAs surrendering and returning to the law’s fold. These left-leaning individuals and aggregations exhibit their nationalist pretensions by embroiling themselves with national issues related to the people’s needs and sufferings, picturing themselves as victims of human rights violations committed allegedly by the government against them. They use social media to whip up support for them and use compelling political propaganda subjects like alleged summary killings, unlawful arrests, tortures, and harassment of political activists and progressive groups. Their comrades in Congress who managed to be elected have become effective political mouthpieces against the government. They are good at using the mass media, which is just too happy to accommodate them to boost their sales. Some have infiltrated the government bureaucracy and used their positions and offices to advance their political ideologies in the guise of good government. They have been successful, too, in recruiting young students of impressionable minds to embrace their causes, who end up either young NPA rebels, leading student activists, or dead resulting from government clashes with government troops. These self-proclaimed nationalists have peppered the air with accusations of extrajudicial killings against the government and have defended suspected terrorists and subversives when arrested and prosecuted. They readily proclaim their innocence. They have taken the cudgels of citizens murdered by common criminals or political warlords — but they are deathly silent when the communist armed rebels waylay, ambush, and murderously assault military men and women as well as civilians engaged in humanitarian missions during the occurrence of natural disasters. Even when they are confronted with this telling inconsistency and dared to condemn these terrorist atrocities, these leftists remain tight-lipped. They have never condemned the New People’s Army for its terroristic and undemocratic activities. Given this implied but glaring support to the enemies of the state by their deafening silence, can we reasonably accuse the government officials of classifying or describing them as supporters of the NPA or closeted members of the armed rebellion? Certainly not. They have only themselves to blame for being tagged as red supporters. Why should they be afraid, ashamed, or embarrassed to be called communists or communist supporters? The Anti-Subversion Law, where being a member of the CPP is a crime, has long been repealed. So why the fear or shame of being called a communist advocate or supporter? These democratic pretenders must unclothe themselves of their camouflage and join the parliamentary struggle. They should publicly articulate the virtues of communism against democracy and seek elective posts based on their true ideological selves. They should not use the Bill of Rights to undermine the authority of the constituted authorities, remaining as secret enemies of democracy while masquerading as its champions. It is about time they unmask themselves and be proud of their ideological beliefs. They should put an end to their pretense. They should be principled enough to present themselves as ideologues of communism — own to their loyalty to such ideology — and profess it publicly. Let the people judge who — and what they are — and not what they pretend to be. The post Red-tagged individuals have only themselves to blame appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 19th, 2023

Red-tagged individuals create their own classification (1)

It is amusing to read about individuals or groups protesting about being tagged as New People’s Army or NPA supporters, or even communists themselves. At least one of them filed a civil suit for damages against two anchors of a program in SMNI for allegedly tagging him as a communist sympathizer and his mother as a closeted communist. Red-tagging has become a whipping boy of leftist organizations and their sympathizers. The dwindling number of left-leaning party-list representatives who survived the electoral debacle of their comrades have become the mouthpiece. They have been regularly and constantly attacking the government officials who described them as supporters of the communist rebels. This protesting sector of our society has described red-tagging as “the act of labeling individuals or groups as “communist fronts,” “communist terrorists,” or communist sympathizers.” They have likened such acts to “McCarthyism” in the 1950s in the United States. The American Heritage Dictionary defines McCarthyism as “1. The political practice of publicizing accusations of disloyalty or subversion with insufficient regard to evidence; and 2. The use of methods of investigation and accusation regarded as unfair, to suppress opposition.” McCarthyism is known as the “second Ref Scare” in the United States. It was an era of “political repression and persecution of left-wing individuals and a campaign spreading fear of alleged communist and Soviet influence on American institutions and Soviet espionage in the United States during the late 1940s through the 1950s.” Joseph McCarthy, a Wisconsin Senator, started what appeared to become a national witch-hunt in the United States in the late forties and early fifties. He rose to national prominence in the US after an alleged three-year undistinguishable stay in the US Senate, after delivering a speech in Congress where he claimed to have a list of “members of the communist party and members of a spy ring employed in the US State Department.” As a result of McCarty’s speech, congressional hearings were conducted by the U.S. House Committee on Un-American Activities that led to the imprisonment of 10 Hollywood screenwriters and directors. Likewise, hundreds of their colleagues in the movie industry were placed on the “blacklist.” The so-called human rights groups in the Philippines claim that red-tagging is often done without evidence. A human rights alliance group, Karapatan, slammed the NTF-ELCAC for gaining “notoriety in the red-tagging, harassing and intimidating political activists and other government critics and for instigating mass surrenders of civilians alleged to be supporters of the revolutionary movement.” Karapatan alleged, “Many of the victims of NTF-ELCAC’s red-tagging campaigns had ended up arrested and detained on trump-up charges, while others have been killed by vigilante groups or in armed encounters staged by the military.” There is a whale of a difference between the red-baiting in the United States during the McCarthyism period and the so called red-tagging in the Philippines. For one, those who have been red-tagged, if they feel they have been unjustly classified as communist supporters or secret members of the NPA, can always resort to civil suits for damages, just like one of them did. Unlike the late Senator McCarty, the perceived violators of their human rights are not immune from lawsuits. McCarty was immune from being sued when he red-tagged suspected members of the communist party because he enjoyed parliamentary immunity when he delivered the red-tagging speech. The claim that those red-tagged by government officials led to their deaths is just a claim. The human rights groups have not produced any proof of that. As to those arrested and jailed, it only means there was probable cause for the crimes they have been charged with — hence, the courts issued warrants for their arrest. As to the claim of trump-up charges, there have been instances where the courts have dismissed those criminal cases filed against them because the prosecution failed to produce the quantum of proof required by law in court. They can seek judicial redress by filing malicious criminal prosecution against those who made up the false charges plus damages. (To be continued) The post Red-tagged individuals create their own classification (1) appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 17th, 2023

TGP’s Teves off the hook

The Anti-Terrorism Council clarified on Thursday that Talino at Galing ng Pinoy Partylist Representative Jose “Bong” Teves Jr. is not included among those who have been designated as terrorists with Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. In a statement released by the Department of Justice, the ATC stated that TGP’s Teves is not affiliated with or a member of the Teves Terrorist Group. “The decision, which is based on reliable intelligence, exclusively pertains to Mr. Arnolfo Teves Jr. and Mr. Henry Pryde Teves. There is no link to Congressman Jose ‘Bong’ Teves Jr. of the TGP Partylist,” said the ATC in a statement. From Catanduanes in the Bicol Region, “Bong” Teves conveyed in a privilege speech last March. “Our family from the province of Catanduanes, Bicol Region, has no involvement or connection with the issue of the attack against Governor Degamo of Negros Oriental,” Teves said. To recall, the ATC labeled the embattled Negros Oriental Third District representative and 12 others as terrorists due to their alleged involvement in multiple provincial killings and acts of harassment. The ATC Resolution 43 dated 26 July said that they were accused of committing various terrorist acts, including planning, training, preparing and facilitating terrorism, as well as recruiting and being members of a terrorist organization, and providing logistical support to terrorists. Those who were identified as terrorists under the Anti-Terrorism Act were Arnie Teves, Pryde Henry A. Teves, Marvin H. Miranda, Rogelio C. Antipolo, Rommel Pattaguan, Winrich B. Isturis, John Louie Gonyon, Daniel Lora, Eulogio Gonyon Jr., Tomasino Aledro, Nigel Electona, Jomarie Catubay and Hannah Mae Sumero Oray. The expelled congressman has been implicated as the mastermind behind the high-profile killing of Governor Roel Degamo and several others. The post TGP’s Teves off the hook appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2023

2 alleged Indian terrorists deported

On Monday, the Bureau of Immigration announced that it had successfully deported the two Indians who had been tagged as terrorists. According to BI Intelligence Division Chief Fortunato Manahan Jr., Manpreet Singh Gill and Mandeep Singh were successfully deported on 13 August via Thai Airways flight bound for New Delhi. Manahan said that the two were escorted by BI Intel officers along with  Indian authorities. Manpreet was ordered deported for being an undesirable alien after the BI learned from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation that he is wanted in India for a number of offenses, including violation of the unlawful activities prevention act, and that he is a suspect in a murder there. The Indian government further informed the BI that Manpreet is the subject of an arrest warrant issued by the Additional Chief Magistrate in Moga Punjab, for violating the country’s Arms Act. Mandeep was tagged as a fugitive and undesirable alien for violating the conditions of his stay. Manahan added that Manpreet and Mandeep were arrested with two others last March 7 in Iloilo City by the BI Fugitive Search Unit with the help of the anti-terrorism group, the Crime Investigation Coordinating Council, the Philippine National Police  in Iloilo City, and government intelligence agencies. They were said to be involved in terrorist activities in Punjab, India. The two of their companions, Amrik Singh and Hayer Amritpal Singh, were already deported in May this year. Manpreet and Mandeep were deported after being cleared of local charges in the country. BI Commissioner Norman Tansingco said that their deportation ensures that the  country is safe from these undesirable aliens that pose a major threat to our people. Tansingco added that their close coordination with other governments would allow them to continuously hunt down and deport these fugitives. The post 2 alleged Indian terrorists deported appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 14th, 2023

Teves claims persecution, wants House panel to back off

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnies Teves, who has been the subject of the House committee on ethics and privileges for months now owing to "disorderly behavior" that has led to a double suspension, wants the House to terminate its proceedings against him. Ferdinand Topacio, the lead legal counsel of Teves, delivered before the panel chaired by Rep. Felimon Espares a letter dated 10 August from the lawmaker asking the committee to defer its further proceedings, claiming the accusations leveled against him are "clearly baseless" and "meant to "politically harass and persecute" him. Teves argued that the panel's continued proceedings breached its own rules, Section 2 of which states that "if the subject matter of the complaint against a Member of the House is pending before a judicial, quasi-judicial or administrative body, the Committee shall defer action on said complaint until final judgment has been rendered by such body." Citing the rules, Topacio said Teves' terrorist tag is currently pending before the Anti-Terrorism Council and may be raised to the court. Teves' letter countered the panel's letter on 1 August, relative to the lawmaker's alleged acts or omissions that supposedly constitute a violation of the Code of Conduct of the House of Representatives and for disorderly behavior. The embattled solon is being called to account for his recent designation as a terrorist, his supposed abandonment of office resulting from his prolonged absence in Congress and dancing in boxer shorts in a video uploaded on his social media account. Teves questioned why the panel, after the lapse of his second "questionable" 60-day suspension, wanted him to undergo the same process on the same matters, which he considered "clearly uncalled for as they are acts of persecution against me." "Honestly, it saddens me that this Committee is being used as a tool by this current administration to persecute me on my acts which are nothing but lawful," Teves said in the letter. "May I remind you that what you are doing can become a dangerous precedent to future innocent acts of any member of the House, including yourself and the Speaker," he added. He further noted that the panel's proceedings are being used as a vehicle to pressure him to return to the country, "knowing full well" that there are threats to his life and limb which recent events, including a publicized video of death threats, have validated. But despite the security concerns, no law enforcement authority has even investigated the perpetrator, according to the solon. "In similar fashion, the authorities have also deliberately ignored all evidence of another possible angle in the Degamo murder, since the same points to a political ally of the administration. This is the unfortunate reality that engulfs this nation at present, and which prevents me from repatriating myself," Teves added. Teves, whose second suspension lapsed earlier this August, is being implicated in the murder of his political foe, Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, and eight others on 4 March in the governor's residence in Pamplona town, for which he is being tagged as the mastermind. Right before the killing, Teves flew out of the country and has yet to return due to what he claims are serious threats to his life. His continued stay out of the country, notwithstanding an expired travel clearance, prompted the suspension. He, however, again insisted that he never abandoned his duty as a lawmaker and stressed that he has been clamoring to be allowed to participate in legislative proceedings, which he argued is permitted by House rules and that his colleagues "equally enjoy" and "exercise". Teves claimed he has evidence supporting his assertion that he attempted to participate in several hearings but was blocked from doing so. As to his physical absence, he said, "Again, I repeat: the principal reason why I have been unable to attend sessions is due to grave and serious threats to my life, threats which have persisted and even intensified, as just two days ago." "I have received verifiable reports that armed men, without any court order such as a search warrant, have been in and out of my residence in Bayawan, for the purpose most probably of planting evidence." The post Teves claims persecution, wants House panel to back off appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 14th, 2023

Wiping out private armies?

Our otherwise contented political class is definitely on edge with the terrorist branding of suspended Congressman Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. While the innovative terrorist branding seemingly solely targets mainstream politician Mr. Teves, the branding is actually also a live political grenade thrown right onto the laps of the mainstream political class. Mr. Teves’s case is the first time an elected official is officially designated a terrorist by the nascent Anti-Terrorism Council or ATC. Previously, the ATC consistently tacked terrorist tags on red-tagged activist groups and armed extremist groups. But obviously, now it’s on the right side of the political spectrum. As a matter of course, Mr. Teves — the suspected mastermind in the March 4 assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo — is vehemently contesting the terrorist tag and is trying to reverse it. Anyway, we don’t see yet any telltale signs of mainstream politicians taking serious notice of the terrorist branding, much less starting to scamper for cover. But they will certainly have to. Without a doubt, the unfamiliar use of the anti-terror law complicates matters for politicians, particularly provincial-based pols who maintain private armed groups to ensure their political dominance. And, going by how it describes its intention, the ATC is clearly going after private armed groups. “The tragic incident on 4 March 2023, which claimed several lives and left many others injured, is a stark reminder of the threat posed by private armed groups within our country,” the ATC said in its resolution. ATC’s move also comes after Mr. Marcos Jr., in the wake of Degamo’s killing, ordered the dismantling of “private armies.” Mr. Marcos Jr.’s order shouldn’t be surprising. He actually has no choice but to interdict. Otherwise, he violates the Constitution. The 1987 Constitution provides in Article XVIII, Section 24 that “private armies and other armed groups not recognized by duly constituted authority shall be dismantled.” Private armed groups, of course, had long been an ugly blight on our electoral politics, not only on violence-prone Negros Island. In fact, because of private armies, politicians from North to South, both historically and at present, have been paying a deadly price, with probably 100 politicians killed every year. And in most cases, says a 2022 study, “the principals ordering the killings are not investigated, remain in the shadows and enjoy almost complete impunity. As a result, in the vast majority of cases, it cannot be proven who actually ordered the killings.” Such impunities have, of course, morphed into a violent “culture of fear” all over the country. A point ATC emphasizes in its Teves resolution: “The numerous killings and harassments in Negros Oriental which culminated in the assassination of Gov. Degamo must not be taken as isolated and random incidents of violence. A closer evaluation of these killings and harassments have an unmistakable pattern of a rather organized and orchestrated action. These killings and harassments are meticulously and deliberately planned and executed for the purpose of intimidating the residents of Negros Oriental as well as to create an atmosphere or spread a message of fear.” Despite these substantial political issues, no law — oddly enough despite repeated attempts — has been enacted to penalize private armies and other armed groups, which the Philippine National Police says numbered some 155 in 2021. Of that number, police say they consider almost half as “highly active.” Clearly, something sweeping needs to be done against private armed groups to dramatically change the political landscape. Inadvertently, the Teves camp decries the “weaponization” of the Anti-Terror Act, claiming that the government is using it “for the purpose for which it was not designed.” Yet, a private army is unquestionably designed for terror. This fact leaves us with one provocative question: If this government had accidentally found a powerful weapon, does this mean now this government is bold enough to totally wipe out all entrenched private armies? The post Wiping out private armies? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 5th, 2023

DOJ: Teves assets frozen this week

The government is expected to freeze this week all the assets of suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. and 12 others – including his brother, former governor Pryde Henry – following their designation as terrorists over deadly gun violence in the province in 2019 and this year......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2023

Teves could join legislative proceedings, but only if he asks

During a hearing on Tuesday, hours before Arnie Teves was designated as a terrorist by the Anti-Terrorism Council through Resolution 43, Manila Rep. Benny Abante, a panel member, said Teves could join proceedings in the House of Representatives via personal request. The House ethics and privileges panel, which jurisdiction includes administrative complaints and issues filed against House members, will let suspended lawmaker Teves participate in legislative proceedings via videoconferencing only if he would make a "personal request." "Because we have a rule here that must appear [in person]. The ruling here is this if any congressman would like to make use of the videoconferencing, he has to make a personal request on that and the reason why," Abante said. He underscored that Teves is not excluded from this privilege, which is afforded to all members of the House. "If he wants to participate with us through video conferencing, then he must make a personal request, not through his lawyers. He himself personally," Abante stressed. The lawmaker made the remark, notwithstanding that Teves has since pleaded that he be allowed to attend legislative proceedings via teleconference but has been denied. To recall, Teves lambasted the House leadership, questioning why colleagues were allowed to join meetings, sessions, and hearings through video teleconferencing while he was not. He had earlier cried over being considered absent--that later resulted in a twice suspension-- despite attending the legislative proceedings via teleconference, which he lamented was permitted by Congress. The lawmaker, who was being tagged as the "mastermind" behind the murder of his political foe, Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, and nine others on 4 March, has been headstrong in his decision not to return home and physically attend the House ethics panel motu proporio, citing serious threats to his life. Ako Bicol Rep. Raul Angelo Bongalon, the panel's vice chairperson, in the same hearing, echoed Abante's comment, citing Speaker Martin Romualdez's recent order that "all the congressmen are required to attend physically or face to face all activities here in Congress" following the lifting of State of Public Health Emergency. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., through Proclamation No. 297 issued on 21 July, ordered the lifting of the state of public health emergency that had previously been declared throughout the country owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, which had claimed thousands of lives. "That's why he (Teves) has to make a request personal to the Office of Speaker or to the Secretary-General to avail the videoconferencing," Bongalon said. The panel chairperson, Rep. Felimon Espares, meanwhile, stressed that "he needs to report [for work] here in the House," citing the lawmaker's expired travel clearance. "He left with an approved travel authority which already lapsed, so he needs to show up here,” Espares noted. The panel chairman thus explained that Teves has no reason to hide since there is no arrest warrant yet against him. The post Teves could join legislative proceedings, but only if he asks appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

DOJ: Teves a terrorist but not a fugitive

  The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not yet issued a warrant of arrest to the suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. despite the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) labeling the congressman as a "terrorist." In a Malacañang press briefing, DOJ spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano said Teves is not yet considered a fugitive for the congressman to be considered an outlaw or a person running from the law. "(Teves) is not considered a fugitive, as this is separate and distinct from a criminal action. It is only when you are issued a warrant of arrest that you become a fugitive or your status becomes a fugitive," Clavano explained. "Right now, he is a terrorist, but that's as far as he goes," Clavano added. However, Clavano did not mention the government's next step against Teves and 11 others allegedly tagged in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and other political killings in the province. In the same briefing, the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) said the terrorist tag would allow them to freeze the assets of Teves and other parties. "The (AMLC's) issuance of a freeze order is based under the ATA (Anti-Terror Act) Section 25 in relation to Section 36. So upon the designation of an individual or an organization, it is ministerial on the part of the AMLC, to issue an ex parte order to freeze without delay the assets of the subjects in this case," AMLC's Atty. Luis Warren said. Teves hasn't been in the country since February. He won't come back to face the multiple murder charges against him because he fears for his safety. The Department of Justice (DOJ) said earlier that Teves was in Timor-Leste in May 2023, where he reportedly asked for political asylum. Teves's lawyers have said more than once that Teves had nothing to do with Degamo's death. At the moment, 11 of the suspected gunmen are under police arrest. Ten of the suspected gunmen have returned to what they said at first, saying that they were involved. Teves has been named as the mastermind. The post DOJ: Teves a terrorist but not a fugitive appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

AMLC freezes assets of 6 more individuals

The Anti-Money Laundering Council has frozen the assets of six more individuals earlier tagged as terrorists by the government’s Anti-Terrorism Council......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 15th, 2023

DoJ: Teves raps ‘non-transferable’

Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Thursday said that there is no way that the multiple murder complaints against suspended Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. can be transferred to the Office of the Ombudsman. The DoJ chief’s statement comes after the camp of Teves sought the recusal of the Department of Justice from handling the case involving the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and the subsequent deaths of 10 civilians. Remulla stressed that only judges can be removed from a case through a motion for inhibition. “We are not judges,” Remulla said. To recall, the lawmaker — represented by Atty. Ferdinand Topacio — has requested an immediate transfer of the case to the Office of the Ombudsman, a non-political entity headed by former Supreme Court associate justice Samuel Martires. Topacio expressed concern about their camp receiving a fair treatment from the DoJ, regardless of which prosecutors handle the cases and stressed that appealing the resolution of prosecutors to the Secretary of Justice would be futile due to Remulla’s alleged bias. “If you win and appeal to the SoJ (Secretary of Justice), what will happen to your appeal? It’s an exercise in futility. So that is our plea here. Perhaps, there may be some shred of decency and fair play in the secretary, that he refers it to the Ombudsman since we have grounds to conduct a preliminary investigation under the law,” Topacio said. To recall, Teves and several other respondents have been charged with 10 murder, 14 frustrated murder, and four attempted murder in the deaths of 10 persons and injuries sustained by 18 others. The DoJ’s panel of prosecutors has started its preliminary investigation. Teves has been out of the country even after his travel abroad expired on 9 March 2023. He has been tagged as “one of the masterminds” in the Degamo killing although he consistently denied the allegations. The solon failed to attend the preliminary investigation conducted last 13 June. The panel of prosecutors set another investigation on 27 June. The post DoJ: Teves raps ‘non-transferable’ appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 22nd, 2023

Remulla issues warning vs Teves camp on preliminaries

Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday revealed that they will be constrained to go to court if the lawyers of embattled Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. fail to attend the next preliminary investigation set 27 June. This comes after the Teves’ camp failed to attend the preliminary investigation last Tuesday. Remulla stressed that if the legal counsels of the solon could not take the process seriously, they might as well go to court if they do not respect the DoJ to conduct the preliminary investigation. The DoJ chief also said that Teves and his lawyers have “disrespected” the legal process when they failed to appear at the start of the preliminary investigation of the complaint against the lawmaker in the killings of Negros Oriental Governor Degamo and nine others on Tuesday. Meantime, Teves’ lead counsel Atty. Ferdinand Topacio on Wednesday assured of their participation in the preliminary investigation of the criminal complaints filed against the suspended legislator being conducted by the DoJ. Topacio stressed that records will show that the counsels of the solon have consistently participated in all the preliminary investigations involving their client where subpoenas were properly served. “In fact, there have already been three cases so far where Mr. Teves’ counsels have appeared and have fully taken part in,” Topacio said. “Send us subpoenas properly and we will participate.” Topacio also called out Remulla and said: “If you think we have done anything wrong, then file cases against us and prove your case.” Remulla himself should file the cases and not “to delegate it to your subalterns as that would be cowardice,” Topacio said. The solon — who is still abroad and consistently denied the criminal charges filed against him, has been charged in the 2019 killings of three persons — provincial board member and former National Bureau of Investigation agent Miguel L. Dungog, Lester P. Bato and Pacito R. Libron. With other respondents, Teves has also been charged with multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder, and multiple attempted murder in the 4 March 2023 killings of 10 persons including Degamo and injuries sustained by 18 other persons in Pamplona town. Teves has been tagged as “one of the masterminds” in the Degamo slaying. The solon and his sons, Kurt Matthew and Axel, are also facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and explosives by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group as a result of the alleged seizure of firearms and explosives at his house in Bayawan City on 10 March 2023. During the 13 June preliminary investigation, only the detained suspects in the Degamo killing were presented since their lawyers did not also appear, thus they were represented by the Public Attorney’s Office. The post Remulla issues warning vs Teves camp on preliminaries appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 14th, 2023

Untrammelled injustice (2)

The government entity tasked with prosecuting perpetrators of crimes, but more importantly rendering justice, appears not to have learned its lesson from the controversial case of the former director of the Bureau of Corrections, Gerald Bantag, where it prejudged his guilt — as it is repeating the same outrageous and unlawful mistake of tagging a suspect in the assassination of the Negros Oriental governor, without the benefit of trial. As a consequence of its prejudging the case of Bantag, foisting on the public his guilt as the mastermind of the killing even without credible evidence and, worse, even prior to conducting a preliminary investigation to determine the existence of probable cause, Bantag and the other accused, Zulueta, have extracted themselves from the arms of the law owing to their honest belief, grounded as it were on their not getting a fair hearing as they had already been adjudged guilty in the eyes of the public. In the meantime, until such time as they voluntary surrender or are arrested, the court that will try them does not have jurisdiction over them, which means the government prosecutors cannot prosecute the named suspects, hence we will never know for now or heaven knows when who committed the crime. As to the identity of the mastermind and his accomplices, the spectators to this vexing and preceding deja vu could only speculate. It could be they who are presently charged, who have become unwilling fugitives from justice. Or the assassin could really be the other accused-confessed triggerman, at the behest of another individual, who had an axe to grind against the murdered radio commentator who could be the real mastermind. This unavoidable puzzle comes about because a government functionary could not hold his tongue in making premature pronouncements on the guilt of the suspects violative of the constitutionally guaranteed presumption of innocence. In a repeat scenario, the public is again made to believe, by repeated claims for weeks to the media, with incredulous certainty, that the congressman of Negros Oriental, Arnolfo Teves Jr., was the mastermind of the heinous crime. The citizenry is regaled with a parade of arrested and surrendered suspected killers who confessed to the crime, confirming its commission with the execution of sworn statements affirming their participation in the dastardly act. In between those pompous announcements of the solution of the crime, initial innuendos pointing to the lawmaker as being behind the murder filled the news, followed by police raids on his properties and the discovery of a cache of unlicensed firearms and millions of pesos. Then to give more drama to the movie-like script, Congressman Teves is classified as a terrorist, even without being charged yet of any crime, in blatant and illegal disregard of the judicial process outlined in the Anti-Terrorism Law for the classification of individuals or group of individuals as terrorists. Despite the repeated cocky assurances for several weeks that the murder of the governor and others had been solved, no formal criminal complaint was filed against Teves and the individuals who confessed to the crime. The House of Representatives — which could not stop itself from joining the persecution spectacle with lightning speed and without giving Teves the basic requirement of due process, despite his willingness to appear before it via Zoom or virtually as he is abroad and would not risk coming home being in mortal fear owing to threats against his life — suspended him for sixty days “for continued unauthorized absences and disorderly conduct which resulted in his failure to perform his duties as a House member.” After the expiration of the 60-day suspension, again without giving him the rudimentary opportunity to defend himself, thereby repeating the violation of his constitutional right to be heard, hit him with another 60-day suspension. Thereafter, as the people who are glued to this seeming telenovela await with bated breath the filing of the murder complaint, there is a dramatic twist of events. (To be continued) The post Untrammelled injustice (2) appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 8th, 2023

Degamo Slay Case Answer raps, DoJ dares Teves

The Department of Justice has challenged suspended Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves to answer the complaint for multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder, and multiple attempted murder filed against him in the 4 March 2023 killing of Governor Roel Degamo and 10 persons. Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony D. Fadullon said a subpoena has been issued by a DoJ panel of prosecutors against Teves to answer the charges. Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Mary Jane E. Sytat is the head of the panel of prosecutors that will handle the case. Fadullon, however, did not mention any deadline for Teves to file his counter-affidavit and the date of the start of the preliminary investigation. Earlier, Teves was slapped with a second 60-day suspension as a legislator, as he continued to return home despite the lapse of his travel authority on 9 March 2023 citing “security reasons.” The embattled solon has been tagged as “one of the masterminds” in the killing of Degamo, the deaths of nine other persons, and injuries sustained by 18 individuals. He has denied the allegations. He was reported to have applied for political asylum with the Timor-Leste government which denied his plea. He appealed the denial before Timor-Leste’s Supreme Court. It was not known, as of posting, the status of the appeal. The National Bureau of Investigation filed the criminal charges against Teves on 17 May 2023 in connection with the killings. Aside from Teves, also charged were Angelo V. Palagtiw, Neil Andrew Go, Capt. Lloyd Cruz Garcia, Nigel Electona, and a person identified only with the aliases “Gee-Ann” and “Jie-An,” allegedly a sister of Palagtiw. The suspects were charged with 10 counts of murder, 14 counts of frustrated murder, and four counts attempted under the Revised Penal Code. Under the RPC, murder is a non-bailable offense and a heinous crime. The post Degamo Slay Case Answer raps, DoJ dares Teves appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2023

Senate wants tougher penalties for perjury

Senators on Monday called on for tougher punishment and increased penalties against people committing perjury, amid the recent retraction of statements by Degamo slay suspects. During a Senate session on Monday, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano cited the three suspects in the murder of Negros Oriental  Gov. Roel Degamo who recently recanted their earlier confessions before a Senate panel that tagged suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. as the alleged mastermind of the crime. He also mentioned the case of a witness in former Senator Leila De Lima’s drug case likewise retracting a sworn affidavit. Cayetano wants stricter penalties against witnesses lying, especially during Senate hearings. Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri said he is very much in favor of Cayetano’s motion to increase the penalties and jail time against those found guilty of committing perjury. “I totally agree that we must toughen our laws on perjury," he said, lamenting that perjury is now becoming a "norm”. “So I think it's about time. Just like [in] the United States, when you give an affidavit, that’s it. When you recant your affidavit, they would file charges against you. This goes on both sides of the political fence as this happened to our former colleague Ma’am De Lima and now in the Degamo case, I think this would cross all political lines,” Zubiri said. The truth should be ferreted out and “if they lied then they should be liable," he added. Senator  Francis Tolentino, meanwhile, said amendments may be recommended for rules under several articles of the Revised Penal Code, including the punishment for the act of giving false testimony in judicial proceedings under Articles 180, 181 and 182. “I think it’s about time to amend the rules in so far as the treatment of witnesses acting with malice and malicious intent and lying in violation of several articles of Revised Penal Code…" However, Senate Minority floor leader Koko Pimentel said the increased penalties should be taken as a second option only. “That should be the second step, but the first step I think is to enforce the current law. No matter what the penalty is, the current law should be imposed. The deterrent effects of criminal law — that’s what is missing,” Pimentel said. Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda backed Pimentel’s motion, saying the government should make sure that the law is implemented accordingly. Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, meanwhile, pointed out that Republic Act 11594, signed by former President Rodrigo R. Duterte on 29 October 2021, amended Article 183 of RA 3815 or the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes perjury. Under RA 115941, persons who commit perjury face a higher penalty of prison mayor in its minimum period to prison mayor in its medium period, from six years and one day to 10 years of imprisonment. Senator Robinhood Padilla, for his part, suggested varying perjury penalties for civilians and for government officials as well as security officials who commit perjury  during hearings or inquiries, while Senator Joel Villanueva stressed the need to impose "bigger" penalties on public officials. The post Senate wants tougher penalties for perjury appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 29th, 2023

Red tag

In a recent Twitter Spaces discussion that was happening in the wee hours of the morning, I was not able to hold off as a usual and silent listener. I unsolicitedly participated in the discussion because from my point of view, there were a lot of misconceptions about the issue — that of the so-called RED TAGGING. There was this audacious but ludicrous assertion that red tagging is a violation of human rights and due process that is being propagated in social media, which legal experts readily dismissed as false and misleading. Indeed, to say that an assertion and a labeling violates due process presupposes that such an act is a crime clearly defined in our statutes.  But red tagging is nowhere to be found in our legal system and, seriously, that assertion is so idiotic and will only be espoused by someone who wants the public to be more confused than be educated. To reiterate, to identify someone publicly as a communist or a sympathizer or supporter of the local communist movement and its front organizations is not a crime and can never be one if we remain under the rule of law. And in this argument, the wisdom of the great Juan Ponce Enrile comes into play — why would anyone be afraid or consider it criminal if one branded a communist supporter? Communism in this country is an accepted ideology and one can freely espouse communism. In fact, the communists in our society have taken advantage of our democracy and have even availed themselves of representation and participation in government. So what is wrong with that? The thing is, this red tagging issue is a creation of the wily and scheming leaders of the CPP-NPA-NDF as a means to subdue law enforcers and make it more difficult for them to clean up the communism movement of subversives, saboteurs, criminals and terrorists in their ranks. It is a shield of deception, cleverly designed to make the state and the public be more deliberate in dealing with the menace of our society. In the public sphere, red tagging is no more different than calling someone an idiot or a troll, and as one legal luminary has put it, falls within the ambit of free speech and freedom of expression. To red tag someone in public, or on social media and other platforms, is something that one can freely do, but you must really know what you are doing and saying, and you are solely responsible for it, especially since the one you have tagged also has the freedom and the right to respond and debunk your assertion. And again, if one is red tagged, so what? If you have chosen to promote, to advocate, or pursue communism as an ideology, then you are most free to do it, and you should be more than ready to defend your position. Unless of course you really have a more sinister agenda. Mark my word. The post Red tag appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 29th, 2023