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SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau

Speaker Romualdez acts as caretaker of Negros Oriental’s third legislative district for two months
30 March 2023 06:00:47 PM

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has taken upon himself the responsibility of ensuring the interest of the people of the 3rd Legislative District of Negros Oriental is protected by temporarily acting as their legislative caretaker.

This was made effective through House of Representative Memorandum Order No. 19-017, dated 23 March 2023, that Speaker Romualdez had issued.

“In the interest of the people of the 3rd District of Negros Oriental, the undersigned shall act as the Legislative Caretaker of the 3rd District of Negros Oriental for the period 23 March 2023 to 22 May 2023. This order takes effect immediately,” the memorandum order signed by Romualdez said.

The leader of the House of Representatives traditionally names caretakers for districts not represented in the chamber due to various reasons, including the appointment to a Cabinet position, suspension, or expulsion of a member.

The House is currently on its Lenten Break lasting up to May 7, 2023.

By virtue of the order, Speaker Romualdez will act as temporary caretaker of the district for the entire period coinciding with the duration of the 60-day suspension the House of Representatives has imposed on March 23 against Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” A. Teves for misconduct.

The House Committee on Ethics and Privileges had recommended the suspension of Teves, who is implicated in the killing of Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others, for failing to return home and report for work despite the expiration of his travel authority since March 9.

Teves, who was last reported to be in the United States for supposed medical treatment, had refused to come back home claiming there are serious threats to his life.

The Ethics panel said the representative’s stay “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 a House member constitute disorderly behavior affecting the dignity, integrity, and reputation of the House of Representatives, which warrant disciplinary action.”

The Committee said Teves failed to observe the norms of conduct and ethical standards expected of public officials, and his “misconduct has adversely affected the dignity, integrity, and reputation of his public office and that of the House of Representatives as an institution.”

Speaker Romualdez has repeatedly pleaded with the Negros Oriental lawmaker to fly home so he could attend to his job and at the same time face the accusations against him, assuring him that he would be accorded justice and fairness.

No less than President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. himself has assured Teves of his safety.

Earlier, Speaker Romualdez assured the people of Negros Oriental that peace and order has been restored in their province and in the third district in particular.(END)