Sanction vs Teves is unprecedented, says House exec

At a glance

  • House Secretary General Reginald Velasco confirms that it's the first time that congressmen suspended one of their own--Negros Oriental 3rd district Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. (In photo)--for "disorderly behavior".

  • (Photo from Facebook)

The House of Representatives' 60-day suspension against controversial congressman, Negros Oriental 3rd district Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr., is a first.

This was confirmed by House Secretary General Reginald Velasco in a chance interview with reporters on Thursday, March 23, or a day after the plenary voted in favor of the sanction against Teves.

"Actually based on our research, our legal research, wala pa eh. Wala pang precedent in the past (there is none. There is no precedent in the past)," Velasco said.

"This is the first time na ginawa ng House of Representatives (This is the first time that the House did it) to suspend a member, because of this, they call it 'disorderly behavior'," he said.

"Dahil nga hindi sumasagot sa mga communications na ng House of Representatives, even the Committee on Ethics (It's because he hasn't been answering the communications of the House of Representatives, even the Committee on Ethics)," noted Velasco.

It was the ethics panel, chaired by COOP-NATCCO Party-list Rep. Felimon Espares, that recommended the 60-day suspension against Teves during plenary session Wednesday, March 22.

A total of 292 solons upheld the recommended in a unanimous vote.

Teves, who is being connected to the March 4 assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, has been out of the country since late February. He is considered a absent without official leave by the House.

The chamber earlier issued him a travel clearance covering the dates Feb. 28 to March 9.

The next harshest penalty after suspension is expulsion from the House.