Rep. Teves’ 2-month leave request up to House ethics panel 

THE HOUSE ethics and privileges committee holds the authority to grant or deny the request of Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo A. Teves, Jr. for a two-month leave of absence, citingsecurity threatsagainst him and his family, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez said on Thursday.  

The Committee on Ethics has already acquired jurisdiction on Cong. Arnies case. I will act accordingly after the Committee wraps up its investigation and submits its recommendation to the House leadership,Mr. Romualdez said in a statement.  

Mr. Romualdez said he had a private meeting with Mr. Teveslegal counsel, Ferdinand S. Topacio, where he reiterated his stand that Cong. Arnie should return to the country and report for work at once.”  

He added, It does not sit well for a House member to flee the country rather than avail himself of all the legal remedies available to him.”  

COOP NATCCO Party-list Rep. Felimon M. Espares, chair of the ethics committee, said on Wednesday that Mr. Teves has five days to explain his whereabouts following his expired travel authority, which was only valid until March 9.  

Mr. Espares has not replied to a message seeking further comment. Beatriz Marie D. Cruz