NI NOEL ABUEL
Nasa kamay na ng Committee on Ethics and Privileges ang desisyon kung ano ang dapat na parusa laban kay Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” A. Teves, Jr. dahil sa kabiguan nitong sumunod sa utos ni Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez na bumalik na ng bansa matapos na mag-expire ang travel clearance noong Marso 9.
“Please be informed that the Committee on Ethics and Privileges in its meeting held last, 15 March 2023, has decided to acquire jurisdiction and to conduct motu proprio investigation over Representative of the Third District of Negros Oriental, Honorable Arnolfo “Arnie” A. Teves, Jr.’s failure to return to the country despite the direct order of the Honorable Speaker and the expiration of his travel clearance dated 27 February 2023,” sabi ni House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Mannix Dalipe.
“Pending submission of the Report by the Committee on Ethics to the plenary, we leave it to the sound discretion of the Committee to investigate and recommend imposition of the appropriate disciplinary action,” dagdag pa nito.
Samantala, noong Miyerkules ng hapon nang matanggap ng opisina ng Office of the Speaker ang letter request ni Rep. Teves, Jr. na humihiling na bigyan ito ng 2-buwang bakasyon dahil sa seryoso umanong banta sa buhay nito at ng kanyang pamilya.
“The undersigned Representative of the Third District of Negros Oriental humbly plea and request that he be granted a two-month leave of absence due to very grave security threat to his life and his family, to be reckoned from March 9, 2023. Rest assured that he will come back as soon as the threat will be dealt with accordingly under our laws, and with the aid of the government,” bahagi ng kalatas na pinadala ni Teves kay Romualdez.
Samantala, kagabi ay nakipag-usap ang abogado ni Teves na si Atty. Ferdinand Topacio kay Romualdez para personal na iparating ang apela ng una.
“In that meeting, I reiterated my stand that Cong. Arnie should return to the country and report for work at once,” ani Romualdez.
“I relayed to Atty. Topacio the decision of the House Committee on Ethics to investigate Cong. Arnie’s refusal to heed a direct order from the Speaker for him to come back home after the expiration of his travel authority last March 9. The Committee on Ethics has already acquired jurisdiction on Cong. Arnie’s case. I will act accordingly after the Committee wraps up its investigation and submits its recommendation to the House leadership,” paliwanag pa nito.
Muli ring iginiit ni Romualdez na lahat ng paraan ay gagawin ng Kamara para ligtas na makabalik ng bansa.
“I also reiterated the assurance that the Speaker and the entire House leadership will exert all means necessary to pave the way for Cong. Arnie’s safe return to the country. I strongly urge Cong. Arnie to reconsider his decision not to return. It does not sit well for a House Member to flee the country rather than avail himself of all the legal remedies available to him,” ayon pa kay Romualdez.