Former Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves on Wednesday filed a waiver allowing the Department of Justice to probe his bank accounts, phone records, and emails in an effort to clear his name of involvement in the March 4 assassination of his successor, Roel Degamo.
Teves appeared at the Hall of Justice in Dumaguete City yesterday with the waiver, which he said may help authorities in their ongoing probe on him and his brother, suspended Negros Oriental Third District Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr.
In his waiver, Teves wrote he was a “law-abiding citizen” with “nothing to hide, and who desires nothing but to simply live in peace.”
This developed as three people arrested during the raid on a compound allegedly owned by former Governor Teves are set to file a complaint against the police before the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), a lawyer said Wednesday.
Nigel Electona, Jeson Tintin, and Dionilo Mayagua Jr. said they were being pressured by policemen to point to the Teves brothers as the ones who ordered them to bury firearms retrieved during the raid last weekend, lawyer Michael Mella said.
“They told me that they were being pressured to admit that Congressman Teves and his brother Governor Pryde ordered them to bury the firearms recovered during the raid,” Mella said. “They did not submit to the pressure, and I advised them to remain silent.”
Asked who was pressuring the three, Mella said he assumed it to be the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group since they are detained there.
The PNP-CIDG or the Department of the Interior and Local Government had yet to comment as of press time.
Rep. Teves’ lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, called on Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos to investigate the alleged pressure.
“Thank you, Secretary Abalos. God bless you and I hope you look into this. More than the mere denial. Of course, the police will deny it. I hope you look at this properly and sincerely,” he said.
Mella, Topacio, and lawyer Roberto Diokno attended the resumption of the preliminary hearing at the DOJ on the complaint of illegal possession of firearms filed against ex-Gov. Teves and Jose Guimarangan.
The CIDG said it submitted additional evidence during the hearing.
Pryde Teves on Wednesday maintained he has no knowledge how firearms and ammunitions were discovered by authorities inside the property owned by HDJ Bayawan Agri-Venture Corp., a sugar milling company he is managing.
He noted it is impossible for him to control a 52-hectare land.
“Within the 52-hectare property, there is a 10-hectare property that we are actively using as part of the mill and housing for our employees,” Teves told CNN Philippines’ The Source.
“So, the gated compound where I can regulate entry and exit is 10 hectares. The whole 52 hectares is not gated, people come in and out because there are also residents there,” the ex-governor said.
If he would have direct knowledge about a part of the whole property, it would only be within the 10-hectare gated area, he emphasized.
Mella, meanwhile, said they seek to file a complaint before the CHR “as soon as possible.”
“We will ask the family of Nigel as well as the other two respondents to go to CHR to convey their complaints about that kind of pressure and harassment. And as well as they’re lawyers, we will also make sure to expedite the process,” he said.
Mella said Electona told him that several “malicious” cases would be filed against him and the others.
The lawyer said there was psychological and emotional pressure involved, adding that the three men were once visited four times by policemen in one day.
Pryde Teves is being linked to the assassination of his rival Gov. Roel Degamo, something he already denied. He also assured authorities of his cooperation in all issues currently surrounding him.
“The only thing I can do is submit myself to the investigation,” Teves said. “That’s why I’m making myself available to it. My only hope is for the investigation to be exhaustive so I can be cleared through all my transactions.”
He also denied having ties with terrorist groups, after the CIDG said it is looking into possible terrorist-related activities in the province following the confiscation of improvised explosive devices (IED) in the HDJ property.
“Look at me, I was a victim of an IED explosion which cost the lives of seven others and almost cost me mine,” Teves pointed out. “I would never in my conscience try to get near an IED nor play with one. And had I known that there is an IED there, I’d be the first one to have it removed.”
Three of the younger Teves’ security personnel, including his head of security Nigel Electona, were arrested in the raids held last Friday to Monday.
But the former governor said he was willing to cooperate with authorities in their investigation.
Pryde Teves has been living as a private citizen since last October, after he voluntarily left the governorship following Degamo’s victory in a recount of the May 2022 gubernatorial race.
His brother, meanwhile, has yet to return to the country even after his travel authority expired last March 9. This prompted the House of Representatives to suspend him for 60 days for his continued absence from work.