‘Cong Teves’: Bong Teves clears ‘misconceptions’ as name gets dragged in Degamo killing

March 17, 2023 - 3:46 PM
Bong Teves
Rep. Bong Teves Jr (TGP party-list) in this photo posted on his Facebook page at March 9, 2023 (Deputy Majority Leader Congressman Bong Teves Jr./Facebook)

A party-list representative with the same surname as Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr (Negros Oriental, Third District) issued a clarification amid misconceptions of being tagged in the killing of a governor.

Rep. Jose “Bong” Joson Teves Jr of the Talino at Galing ng Pinoy (TGP) Party-list on Wednesday said that he wanted to “settle” the confusion since his family has been “heavily affected by the news” of the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo.

“Wala pong kinalaman o koneksyon ang aming pamilya mula sa probinsya ng Catanduanes, Bicol Region, sa issue ng paspaslang kay Governor Degamo ng Negros Oriental,” Bong said in his privilege speech during the Congress’ regular session on March 15.

“Even my sons and daughter na si Mayor Paolo Teves, president of the League of the Municipalities of the Philippines-Catanduanes Chapter; my daughter Doktora Bea Teves, who is the chief residence of the Philippines Children’s Medical Center; and also my two sons who are engaged in our private businesses, are greatly affected dahil paulit-ulit silang tinatanong at kinukulit kung tatay ba nila ang nasasangkot sa insidenteng nangyari,” he added.

Bong urged media outlets reporting on the Degamo case to use the full name of Arnie instead since there is “another Teves family from another place who have no knowledge” about the killing.

The party-list representative said that there are some reports referring to Arnie as “Cong Teves” only, adding it “confuses the public.”

Both Bong and Arnie may also be referred to as “Cong Teves,” which is short for Congressman Teves.

However, Bong and Arnie are different lawmakers.

Bong is a party-list representative catering to a sector of society, while Arnie is a district representative of an area.

“This incident already happened three times, sana huwag na pong maulit,” Bong said, referring to reports omitting the title “Negros Oriental, Third District” when referring to Arnie as a congressional representative.

“This is to avoid, in the future, incidents as to what my family experienced, bearing the same name of Teves, Mr. Speaker,” Bong added.

“Dahil maraming pagkakataon na magkakaapelyido tayo pero magka-iba naman ng probinsya o lugar ng pinagmulan. At ang innocent person, your[s] truly, is not involved in the killing of Governor Degamo but unfortunately, my name is being dragged into the issue, which misleads the public,” he continued.

On Friday, Joy Teves, one of Bong’s kins, also clarified the confusion on Facebook.

“Ang kamag-anak ko po Si TGP [Party-list] Congressman Bong Joson Teves, kapatid po [siya] ni Pedro Teves, ang yumao ko pong ama na naglingkod sa Roxas Isabela na SB [Sangguniang Bayan] at Vice Mayor po,” she wrote on Friday.

“May anak din po si Congressman Bong Teves na mayor po sa Baras, Catanduanes, [si] Mayor Paolo Teves,” Joy added.

“Wala pong bad record nagaganap sa pamilya po namin. Malinis pong naglilingkod ang mga kamag-anak ko sa taumbayan. Love, love lang po sa nangyayari po sa kanila,” she continued with heart emojis.

Meanwhile, the other Teves on the headlines is Arnie who is being linked to the killing of Degamo in the latter’s residential compound at Pamplona on March 4.

The governor was killed while he was meeting with his constituents in daylight.

Six assailants with high-powered firearms suddenly went to the area and opened fire, leaving Degamo and other civilians dead. 17 people were also injured.

Arnie was linked to the case after a suspected gunman referred to a certain “Congressman Teves” as the supposed mastermind.

ALSO READ: Who is Arnolfo ‘Arnie’ Teves Jr.?

It was unclear whether this referred to Arnie or his brother, Pryde Henry, who was the province’s governor before being unseated following a recount.

Last Wednesday, charges of illegal possession of firearms were filed by the police against Arnie and his sons, Kurt Matthew and Axel, in connection with three murder cases in Negros Oriental in 2019.

Arnie has denied involvement in the killing. His lawyers also said that he is not in hiding but is hesitant to return to the country because of concerns over his safety. He previously went to the United States for medical purposes.

The district representative said he is ready to face the charges if he can be assured of fair play in the investigation and legal proceedings.

Who is Bong? 

Bong, who recently cleared himself and his family of misconceptions of perceived “involvement” in the Degamo slay, represents the TGP Party-list in the 19th Congress.

He holds the following positions in the committee memberships of the House of Representatives:

  • Rules — Deputy Majority Leader
  • Constitutional Amendments — Member for the Majority
  • Food Security — Member for the Majority
  • Youth And Sports Development — Member of the Majority

Bong has principally authored 48 bills in the lower chamber which include the Virology Institute of the Philippines Act of 2022, the Maharlika Investment Fund Act, the Magna Carta of Filipino Seafarers, and the Modernization for the Public School Teachers Act of 2022.

He has also co-authored 32 bills such as the Rightsizing the National Government Act, the Trans-Fat Free Philippines Act, the Magna Carta for Public Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Workers, and the Study Now, Pay Later Act.

Bong represents the TGP Party-list which has the following tagline on Facebook:

“Proteksyunan ang KALIKASAN, ‘nang maalagaan ang KALUSUGAN, para sa kinabukasan ng KABATAAN.”

The party-list on its website said it is “dedicated to honor and provide opportunities to all Filipinos to excel in their chosen field of interest.”

It added that its mission is “to recognize, promote, and provide an economic and social opportunity to talented Filipinos in the field of technical skills, science, creative arts, sports, and entertainment.”

TGP Party-list said it also “intends to nurture, honor and support natural and acquired talents and skills of Filipinos through legislative work and agenda, address their needs and concerns to ensure adequate government support is given to realize their dreams.”