The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG) conducted a raid on Friday, March 10, at several properties of Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. The search operation was carried out due to allegations of illegal firearms with allegedly fake documents.

Congressman Arnie Teves Jr.

In an interview with radio DZBB, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos confirmed the ongoing search on Friday morning. PNP Public Information Office Chief Colonel Redrico Maranan also confirmed the operation.

Abalos stated that the raid was not limited to the lawmaker's properties and was in response to reports of illegal firearms in the area. He further added that some of Teves’ firearms have spurious or fake documents, discovered due to the government's regular review of firearms registration.

The Interior Secretary also revealed that the raid was related to allegations that Teves ordered killings in Negros Oriental in 2019. He mentioned that the CIDG had applied for a search warrant, which was issued by the court.

Meanwhile, Teves’ legal counsel, Ferdinand Topacio, stated that they were aware of the raid, and legal counsels were attending to it. Topacio emphasized that all the safeguards provided in the law for the implementation of search warrants should be followed by the police.

Teves has yet to issue a statement regarding the ongoing search.

The PNP CIDG continues to investigate the case and gather evidence to determine the legality of the firearms' ownership and authenticity of documents related to it.

As of this writing, it is still unclear if any firearms were seized during the operation. The PNP CIDG, however, assured the public that they will release a statement once the search is completed.

The raid on Teves’ properties has sparked mixed reactions from the public. Some commended the PNP CIDG for its efforts to combat illegal firearms, while others criticized the move as politically motivated.

Teves is a member of the National Unity Party and was elected as the representative of the Negros Oriental Third District in 2019. He is the son of former Negros Oriental Governor and Congressman Arnolfo Teves Sr.

This is not the first time that a Philippine lawmaker has been the subject of a police raid. In December 2020, PNP CIDG also conducted a raid on the house of former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes, who was accused of masterminding the killing of environmentalist and broadcaster Dr. Gerry Ortega.

The PNP CIDG continues to intensify its campaign against illegal firearms and criminal activities in the country, especially in the run-up to the 2022 national elections. The public expects the PNP to remain transparent in its operations and follow due process in conducting raids and arrests.