DoJ dismisses one complaint vs Teves
BY FRANCO JOSE C. BAROÑA
The Manila Times
THE Department of Justice (DoJI has dismissed a complaint against Negros Oriental Third District Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives filed by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG). Based on a resolution issued on Monday, March 13, and signed by Prosecutor Victor Dalanao Jr. and approved by Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon, the complaint filed against Teves “is not a proper subject for inquest since he was not arrested during the implementation of the search.” “Considering that there is not enough evidence to proceed to a regular preliminary investigation with regard to him, the complaint against respondent Teves is dismissed,” Dalanao said in the resolution. Dalanao and Fadullon instead recommended that the complaint be filed against a certain Roland Aguisanda Pablio since the firearms seized during the raid were said to have been licensed to him rather than to Teves. The case stemmed from the raid conducted by the PNP-CIDG on several houses owned by Teves last March 7 in search of loose firearms. The houses are located in Purok 4, Barangay Poblacion, Basay, Negros Oriental. The operations were conducted by virtue of search warrants issued against Teves and one Jose Palo Gimarangan for illegal possession of explosives, unlicensed firearms and ammunition or violation of Republic Act 9516 and RA 10591, respectively. The raiding team was able to confiscate one hand grenade; a .45 caliber pistol and magazine; two .40 caliber pistols and magazines; a rifle scope; and .45 and .40 caliber pistol bullets from Teves’ house. The complaint was filed by the PNP-CIDG with the DoJ on March 10. ‘Just one’ While the case of illegal possession of firearms and explosives against Representative Teves was dismissed, Assistant Secretary Jose Dominic “Mico” Clavano 4th, DoJ spokesman, said there were eight other cases that the lawmaker was facing. “That’s just one (referring to the illegal possession of firearms and explosives complaint). The media seems to be making too much of an issue about the case that was dismissed. That’s just one,” Clavano said in a media forum on Saturday. “It goes to show that we are not forcing anything here. If the case is weak, especially in this case where there is no conspiracy to possess firearms, the DoJ dismisses it because there really is no basis,” he added. Clavano said while a complaint was dismissed, this does not mean that the “record” of Teves “is already cleared.” He said Teves and his sons, Kurt Mathew and Axel, are still facing multiple complaints related to RA 10591, otherwise known as the “Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act and the Law on Explosives.” Clavano said the Justice department is still “determining who has the actual possession” of firearms and grenades. “He is still considered one of the suspects in the masterminds of the slay of [Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo],” he said. Meanwhile, Hannah Mae Oray, the secretary of Teves, was released from police custody on Wednesday, March 15, after the DoJ also found no evidence linking her to the firearms and explosives seized from the lawmaker’s properties in the province. Also released from custody was Jose Pablo Gimarangan, who was charged with criminal complaints for violation of RA 10591 together with Pablio. Aside from Oray, also named respondents in the complaint for infringement of RA 10591 were Heracleo Sangasin Oray, Rodolfo Teves Maturan and Joseph Kyle Catan Maturan. Teves, who is supposedly still in the United States for medical reasons, is being tagged as the mastermind in the killing of Degamo and eight other individuals on March 4. He is also facing a multiple murder complaint in connection with a series of murders that took place in 2019 in various parts of Negros Oriental. The complaint was also filed by the PNP-CIDG with the DoJ. Aside from Teves, also named respondents in the case were a certain Richard Cuadra, Jasper Tanasan, Alex Mayagma, Rolando Pinili and a certain Hannah Mae. Based on the complaint, the Negros Oriental lawmaker and the other respondents were directly involved in the murders committed on March 25, 2019 near Siliman Medical Center, Dumaguete City; May 26, 2019 at Sitio Labugon, Barangay, Nago-alao, Basay, Negros Oriental; and June 23, 2019 at Barangay Malabugas, also in Negros Oriental. One of the victims that was identified in the complaint sheet was Negros Oriental board member Miguel Dungog and two other victims of robbery. A witness, allegedly a member of the assassination team, claimed that Teves was the mastermind and was the one who shouldered the operating expenses for the killings.