EMBATTLED Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. has sought for a two-month leave of absence due to a “very grave threat” to his and lives of his family members.

In a letter dated March 15, 2023 and addressed to House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Teves, who is being accused of masterminding several killings, including that of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, assured that he will come back to the country “as soon as the threat will be dealt with accordingly under our law laws, and with the aid of the government.”

House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said the letter was forwarded to the House of Committee on Ethics and Privileges, which earlier said that it acquired the panel’s jurisdiction to conduct a motu proprio investigation on Teves’ continuous absence despite his expired travel authority.

Romualdez issued Teves’ travel authority covering the period from February 28 to March 9.

The committee earlier said they are giving Teves five days to explain his continued absence.

House Majority Leader Manuel Jose Dalipe said they will leave it to the sound discretion of the committee to investigate and recommend imposition of the appropriate disciplinary action on Teves.

Charges of murder have been filed against Teves and five others in relation to the killings of three individuals in the province in 2019.

Complaints in relation to the raids conducted by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) in his residences in Basay and Bayawan City Negros Oriental last week over alleged loose firearms were also filed against him.

Teves was also reportedly tagged as the brains behind Degamo’s assassination on March 4, but he denied involvement in this incident. (SunStar Philippines)