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Suspended congressman asks DoJ to inhibit from murder case

SUSPENDED Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo A. Teves, Jr. has asked the panel of prosecutors from the Department of Justice (DoJ)  to stop handling the probe of the killing of a governor of the province, citing bias against him.

In a motion filed before the DoJ on Thursday, Mr. Teves said Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla has a “predisposition” against the lawmaker, adding he has a right to due process.

“As a consequence, Teves, Jr. will need a miracle of biblical proportions to achieve a fair preliminary investigation before any prosecutor under the Department of Justice,” according to the motion.

“This is especially since Secretary Remulla has publicly announced his conclusion that Teves, Jr. is totally involved in the murders, long before the filing of this case.”

He said the Office of the Ombudsman should handle the preliminary investigation of the murder.

Mr. Remulla, commenting on the lawmaker’s motion, told reporters in a Viber Message, We are not judges.

Mr. Teves, who had gone into hiding overseas, is accused of conspiring to murder former Negros Oriental Governor Roel R. Degamo and eight others on March 4.

Fifteen people were also hurt during the shooting at the late governor’s residential compound.

The congressman has denied involvement in the crime and cited threats against him and his family.

In another development, the Supreme Court ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to comment on Mr. Teves’ co- accused’s petition for writ of habeas corpus.

The writ of habeas corpus is a legal remedy against illegal confinement or detention and compels a public official to justify the detention.

In a resolution dated April 17 but sent to reporters on Thursday, the High Court gave the NBI 10 days to comment on the motion.

The House ethics panel in May sought another 60-day suspension for Mr. Teves for his continued failure to physically appear in Congress.

He was initially suspended after his travel authority expired on March 9. The previous 60-day suspension expired on May 22. John Victor D. Ordoñez

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