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Teves pinatalsik na bilang kongresista

MANILA, Philippines – Sa kauna-unahang pagkakataon ay nagpatalsik ang Malaking Kapulungan ng Kongreso ng isang mambabatas matapos na tuluyan ng tanggalin sa rooster ng Kamara ang pangalan ni Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves.

Sa ginanap na press conference ay niliwanag ni House Secretary-General Reginald Velasco na matapos kumatig ang 265 na mambabatas sa rekomendasyon ng House Committee on Ethics and Privileges ay tuluyan ng pinatalsik si Teves bilang isang kongresista.

“This is the first time that the House of Representatives has done this. So wala tayong precedent and we don’t really know whether he is still eligible to run during elections. Ang final word diyan would have to come up with the Comelec if he still eligible to run for Congress.”

Ngunit ayon kay Velasco patuloy na inaalam ng liderato ng Kamara kung ang pagpapatalsik sa kongresista ay nangangahulugan din ng perpetual disqualifications sa anumang pwesto sa gobyerno at hanggang ngayon ay hindi pa rin aniya kinakansela ng Department of Foreign Affairs ang pasaporte ni Teves.

Ipinaabot na rin sa tanggapan ni Teves ang naging desisyon ng Kamara na bahagi ng Committee Report 717 na isinumite ng House Committee on Ethics and Privileges na may titulong “Re: Motu Propio Action of the Committee on the matter of the Acts of Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr. Of the 3rd District Oriental for the Violation of the Code of Conduct and for disorderly behavior docketed as House Committee Case No. MP-2023-11.”

Sa ngayon ay wala pang itinatalagang caretaker sa distrito ni Teves na ayon kay Velasco ay mananatiling dedesisyunan pa ng liderato ng Kamara maging ang mga staff nito co-terminus ay maaari lamang aniyang manatili sa tanggapan kung ito ang magiging kapasiyahan ng itatalagang caretaker.

“Pursuant to the Constitution, the provisions of the Rules of the House of Representatives and the Committee Rules of Procedure for the 19th Congress, the Committee finds that the acts of Rep. A. Teves Jr constitute disorderly behavior and violate Section 141 (a) and (b), Rule XX of the Code of Conduct of the House of Representatives, and such acts are so grave as to merit the most severe form of disciplinary action allowed by the Constitution in order to protect the institutional integrity of the House of Representatives,” batay sa rekomendasyon ng komite.

Sa botong 265, tatlong abstention ay tuluyan ng inalis ang pangalan ni Teves sa rooster ng Kamara dahil sa “disorderly behavior” at “ violation of the Code of Conduct of the House of Representatives.”

Ito ay matapos irekomenda ng House Committee on Ethics and Privileges sa plenaryo ang pagpapatalsik sa kongresista dahil sa malinaw na paglabag sa kaniyang sinumpaang tungkulin, una na rito ang patuloy nitong paghiling ng political asylum sa Timor-Leste at ang matagal nitong pagliban sa Kamara na maituturing na pag-abandona sa kaniyang pwesto.

“The prolonged unauthorized absence of Rep. A. Teves Jr. deprives the 3rd District of Negros Oriental of proper representation and undermines the efficiency of the legislative process. Instead of actively participating in deliberations on important legislative measures pending in the House, the representative refuses to return to the country and perform his duties as House Member. All these actuations of a legislative district representative weakens the institution’s effectiveness in serving the public and tarnishes the integrity and reputation of the House,” batay sa report ng komite.

Ayon sa ulat na nakalap ng malaking Kapulunga ng Kongreso dalawang beses umanong pinawalang saysay na o ibinasura ng Timor-Leste ang kahilingang political asylum ni Teves na malinaw na palatandaan ayon sa desisyon ng komite na nais na nitong iwan o talikuran ang kaniyang distrito.

“Rep. A. Teves Jr.’s continuous absence in the House of Representatives, taken together with his continuous pursuit of his application for political asylum in Timor-Leste, effectively shows intent to abandon his public office undermining public service. In its Committee Report No. 660, the Committee confirmed that Rep. A. Teves, Jr. applied for political asylum in Timor-Leste which was denied because “no facts are known to confirm the existence of any kind of persecution or serious threat to his citizen’s rights, freedom and guarantees.”

Dagdag pa sa committee report ng ang pagkakadawit ni Teves o pagkukunsidera sa kaniya bilang terorista ay mabibigat ng alegasyon.

“When a Member of the House of Representatives is designated as a terrorist, it poses a significant threat to the integrity and dignity of the institution. It is a serious and unprecedented matter.” Meliza Maluntag

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