The Philippine House of Representatives has voted to suspend Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. for 60 days due to his continued absence despite an expired travel authority.
The Committee on Ethics and Privileges headed by COOP NATCCO Party-list Rep. Felimon Espares submitted Committee Report No. 472, which was adopted by the House plenary with 292 affirmative votes, no negative votes, and zero abstentions.
The report found that Teves’ actions constituted disorderly behavior affecting the dignity, integrity, and reputation of the House of Representatives. It further stated that Teves had failed to observe the ethical standards expected of public officials and that his misconduct had adversely affected the reputation of his public office and the House of Representatives as an institution.
“Pursuant to this Constitutional mandate and the provisions of the Rules of the House and the Committee Rules of Procedure for the 19th Congress, we find and so hold that the conduct of Rep. Arnolfo A. Teves Jr. in staying abroad with expired travel clearance and his continued defiance to the orders of the House and the Committee to return to the country and perform his duties as House member constitute disorderly behavior affecting the dignity, integrity, and reputation of the House of Representatives, which warrant disciplinary action,” the committee report read.
“After thorough deliberation and observation of due process, the committee hereby recommends to the House of Representatives the imposition of penalty of 60 days suspension from the service upon Representative Teves for disorderly behavior,” it added.
The committee recommended that Teves be suspended from service for 60 days as disciplinary action. Following the plenary vote, Speaker Martin Romualdez assured the public that the House of Representatives would not tolerate misconduct and wrongdoing among its members under his leadership. In his speech before Congress went on its Lenten break, he emphasized that the call for disciplinary action against Teves, who was implicated in the recent killing of Governor Roel Degamo and several others, was a pressing matter that warranted the chamber’s urgent and sound response.
Romualdez also noted that the Committee on Ethics and Privileges had conducted an investigation and submitted its report for plenary action, observing due process and being fully cognizant of Teves’ rights. He further stated that the House of Representatives would never countenance any conduct unbecoming of a House member under his leadership.