"Why are you taking it personally against me?"
Negros Oriental 3rd district Rep. Arnie Teves (left) and DILG Secretary Benhur Abalos (Facebook)
Negros Oriental 3rd district Rep. Arnie Teves hurled this question toward Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos Thursday afternoon, Jan. 12 during a press conference in Pasig City.
During the presser, the outspoken congressman accused Abalos of plotting a raid on his house and in general, doing him dirty just to become more "popular".
"Gusto kong malaman niyo lahat na pinepersonal na ako ni Benhur Abalos. May naririnig akong mga order na nagpapa-apply ng search warrant sa bahay ko, at kung wala daw makuha, lagyan (I want you all to know that Benhur Abalos is taking things personally against me. I have heard orders regarding an application for a search warrant on my house, and if they can't find anything, to plant against me)," Teves said.
He said that as a result, he had more closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras installed at his home, "dahil sa totoo kung gagaguhin ka talaga sa search, yari ka, lagyan ka lang ng granada unbailable na (because the truth is, if you're going to get screwed with during the search, a grenade could get planted and you'll get an unbailable charge)".
"Now question: Sir, bakit niyo ako pinepersonal? Anong meron? (Sir, why are you taking it personally against me? What's up?)" Teves asked, referring to Abalos.
Last week, Teves assailed the DILG's approach to ridding the Philippine National Police (PNP) of personnel with links to illegal drugs. Abalos began this campaign by appealing to all high-ranking PNP officials to tender their courtesy resignations---something that the Visayas solon branded as a "short cut".
Teves believes that Abalos is "frustrated" over the failure to pin him down on allegations of carrying out electronic cockfighting or e-sabong in the farmer's home. The solon said a television crew recently when to check on his warehouse and didn't find anything.
"Ngayon siguro sa frustration nila, niya, na gusto talaga nila ako i-diin aa kahit anong bagay, umabot na siya sa kung anu-ano (Now, in their--his frustration, they just want to pin me down on anything at at all)," he claimed.
"Umabot na siya sa pag-order ng raid, ng search warrant sa bahay ko at lagyan. Wala akong laban doon kung nilagyan ako ng granada (It has reached the point of ordering a raid, of getting a search warrant on my house and to plant evidence. I cannot do anything if a grenade would get planted)," he further said.
Teves then directed his next few remarks toward President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.
"Mr. President, sabihan mo naman yung tao mo, wag naman nilang gamitin yung pwersa ng gobyerno sa pansarili nilang benefit...Kung gusto niyong sumikat, kung gusto niyong kumandidato bilang senator, wag niyong gamitin yung pera at pwersa ng gobyerno. Mangampanya lang kayo nang patas (Mr. President, please tell your subordinate not to use government's power for their personal benefit...if you want to be popular, if you want to run for senator, then don't use the money and power of the government. You should campaign fairly)," he said.
"Ako rin may balak din akong tumakbong senador...Kaya niyo ba ako pinag-iinitan dahil may balak din ako? Hindi ko ginagamit yung pera ng gobyerno para mangampanya (I also have plans to run for senator...Is that the reason why you're picking on me, because I also have plans? I don't use the government's money to campaign).
"I'm just doing good deeds. Kung ginusto ako ng tao sa pagka-ako eh di OK. Kung ayaw ako ng tao eh di wala. Sila iba eh, ginagamit ako para sumikat sila (If the people want me for being me then OK. If they people don't want me then fine. But they are different, they're using me to become popular)," Teves, a former deputy speaker, further said.
The congressman's Facebook page has 515,000 followers. On the other hand, Abalos--a former Mandaluyong City mayor and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman--has 140,000 followers on Facebook.