‘We can’t be above the law, we’re lawmakers ourselves’

June 1, 2023 People's Tonight 84 views

Romualdez on ‘defiant’ Teves

SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has nothing personal against Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., who continuously defied the House of Representatives’ order for him to come home and face the murder charges filed against him.

“Hindi natin papayagan na sirain ninuman ang integridad ng Kongreso. Walang personalan dito. Ginagawa lamang natin ang sinumpaan nating tungkulin at pangako sa sambayanan,” Speaker Romualdez emphasized in his speech before the sine die adjournment Wednesday, noting that Teves has to face the murder of Gov. Roel Degamo.

“I would like to reiterate that as members of this House, we must be accountable to the people at all times and perform our legislative mandates with utmost competence, efficiency, effectiveness, integrity and fidelity to the people’s welfare – nothing less. Let this be a reminder to all of us,” he declared.

As representatives of the people, Speaker Romualdez said, “we must conduct ourselves with dignity at all times to be worthy of the trust and confidence bestowed upon us by our people.”

The Speaker also reminded that as congressmen, they are all “duty-bound” to comply with their “Code of Conduct, a member shall act at all times in a manner that reflects creditably on the House.”

At the same time, they should also “adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and the Rules of the Committees.”

Last March, the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges conducted an investigation regarding the call for disciplinary action against Teves.

Teves’ 60-day suspension lapsed May 22. He left for the US in February this year.

Before Wednesday’s adjournment of session, the House of Representatives adopted the House Committee on Ethics and Privileges recommendation imposing another 60-day suspension against Teves and forfeiture of his committee membership.

As a consequence, all Teves’ rights and privileges as a member of the House of Representatives covering the same period are likewise suspended.