NEGROS Oriental Rep. Arnolfo A. Teves, Jr. may take legal action if he is expelled as a member of the House of Representatives, his lawyer said on Monday. 

We will explore all legal avenues. We may go to the Supreme Court, we may go to the Ombudsman but its too early to tell,Ferdinand S. Topacio, Mr. Teveslegal counsel, told reporters. 

Meanwhile, the House Ethics Committee is looking to impose stiffer penalties on Mr. Teves for his continued no-show in Congress.  

The Committee on Ethics and Privileges unanimously decided to recommend to the plenary the imposition of a stiffer disciplinary action to our colleaguefor disorderly behavior,Committee Chairman and COOP-NATCCO Party-list Rep. Felimon M. Espares told reporters after the panels closed-door hearing on Monday.  

He said Mr. Teves has violated House Rule No. 20, which states that a member shall act at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House,and that a member shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House and to the rules of the committees.”   

Mr. Espares said the rejection of Mr. Tevesrequest to attend the plenary session online was the committees decision.   

Mr. Topacio appeared in Congress onsite on Mr. Tevesbehalf, but Ethics Committee Vice-Chairperson and AKO BICOL Party-list Rep. Raul Angelo D. Bongalon said he may only take on an advisory role for his client, who must attend physically.  

Despite the call of the house leadership from the very first imposition of suspension, there was a continuing defiance on his part, Mr. Bongalon told reporters.   

We dont want to be labeled as a Congress that is consenting to this kind of disorderly behavior,he said.  

Mr. Teves was suspended for failing to report physically in Congress after his travel authority expired on March 9. The 60-day suspension expired on May 22.  

The whereabouts of Mr. Teves, who has been linked to the murder of the Negros Oriental governor, is unknown. He has cited threats against his family and himself as the reason for his refusal to appear onsite in Congress.   

Mr. Espares said the panel aims to submit its committee report on Tuesday. Beatriz Marie D. Cruz