Wednesday, March 29, 2023

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FIRING LINE: Cong. Teves’s two cents’ worth

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Okada Manila
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By Robert B. Roque, Jr.

It comes as no surprise that Congressman Arnie Teves would give his two cents’ worth of insight into the evil attack on Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo that cost him his life and the lives of other public servants last weekend.

The reasons for his reaction precede him: First, such a gruesome crime happened in his province and to his governor; second, it was his brother, former governor Pryde Henry Teves with whom Degamo hotly contested the governorship; and third, Cong. Arnie is being himself — “Mr. Sawsaw,” “Mr. Ridiculous,” or “Mr. Mema,” just take your pick. 

Netizens who are unfamiliar with Rep. Teves’s eccentric views, though, are being nasty. For airing his theory that Degamo’s killers must have been known to the dog at the scene because it did not bark at them, netizens have likened the congressman’s intelligence to that of a mutt.

Well, often, when Teves wags his tongue about his ideas, that’s precisely what you get: two cents’ worth!

Teves airs fears

To better understand Rep. Teves, one has to peel off the ridiculous remarks that serve to conceal what really goes on in his head. Instead, pay greater attention to his loaded statements.

For instance, Rep. Teves asserts that his brother, Pryde Henry — who was unseated by Degamo last October, had nothing to gain as a result of the governor’s death. That’s putting out the message that the assassination could not have been politically motivated.

He cites how Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos had, months before, ordered that the licenses to his firearms be revoked. That’s laying down the premise that the Teves family is unarmed and could not be in a position to put up an armed defense, much less carry out an armed attack.

Yet, he also admits that he is in possession of more firearms to surrender to authorities and openly addresses President Bongbong about his fears, asking the most powerful man in the country to protect his family. That’s an attempt to disarm Mr. Marcos, who considers Degamo a friend and political ally and puts the President on the spot as the man to blame if anything bad happens to a Teves.

Teves also requests that his firearms licenses be restored and his guns returned, swearing that “Arnie is not one to be hostile to the government.” That can be taken as a non-verbal declaration that, if he had the guns, he would be prepared for a fight and live or die by the gun.

However, who cares about what Arnie says or does not say? What we should be concerned about is the killing of Degamo and other officials we’ve elected. Our concern is that justice be served as soon as possible.

New PCL chairman

Meanwhile, kudos to Councilor Atty. Raul Corro who is set to be inducted into office by President Marcos as the duly elected chairman of the Philippine Councilors League on this very day.

A little trivia, Raul’s late brother, Rommel, was jailed during the presidency of BBM’s father after he wrote a Ninoy Aquino assassination story that was critical of the administration. Rommel was editor of the defunct Philippine Times at the time.

Raul, to me, is like a brother, having been my classmate in UST Journalism Batch 1983. He was president of the Journalism Society, then known as the Samahang Tomasino sa Pamamahayag (STP) when we were college seniors.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at

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