Suspended Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. on Thursday challenged Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla to prove that he was applying to be a citizen of Timor-Leste.
“Secretary Remulla, if you can prove that I am applying for a citizenship in Timor-Leste, I will go home and let myself be gunned down. If you are found to lie, I will ask you to resign,” he said via video call at the Pandesal Forum in Quezon City.
He also dared Remulla to show how the six assassins that killed Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo – whose murder the lawmaker is accused of masterminding — fit into a five-seater helicopter and how 13 people fit into a private plane.
Remulla later dismissed as “baloney” the allegations hurled against him by Teves, who has been tagged as one of the masterminds in the killing of Degamo last March 4, 2023.
Remulla instead challenged Teves to return to the Philippines and face the complaint for 10 counts of murder, 14 counts of frustrated murders, and four counts of attempt murder filed by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Degamo had unseated Teves’ brother, Pryde Henry, as Negros Oriental governor in the 2022 elections.
Rep. Teves said he does not trust the government’s assurance he would be unharmed if he returned home, and urged President Ferdinand Marcos
Jr. to reassess the men in his Cabinet, including the Justice chief.
“Assess their integrity. If Remulla could not answer my questions, he is a liar,” he said. “Look into the other angles — love triangle, debt, etc. Let us investigate first (the Degamo murder) before we judge.”
The camp of Teves had alleged that one of the detained suspects in the killings of Degamo and nine other persons has been offered “millions of pesos” to testify against the suspended legislator.
Remulla, meanwhile, said: “I don’t have to prove anything here. (Teves) is to prove that he can face the charges against him.”
“A subpoena has been issued against him. The public should know that he is being summoned by authorities to explain his involvement in the crime concerning the deaths of many people,” he said.
“Just come home. Face the music. He talks too much,” the Justice Secretary added.