Crisologo faces raps over scuffle with cops in ‘vote buying’ incident

MANILA The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday filed charges against Quezon City mayoral candidate Vicente Bingbong Crisologo and his son over the scuffle with police officers who responded to an alleged vote buying incident the previous night.

The Quezon City Police District (QCPD) filed charges of obstruction of justice, direct assault, and unjust vexation before the City Prosecutor's Office against Crisologo and his son, Edrix.

I am sure there must be a compelling reason why he was arrested, knowing that he is a very famous congressman here in Quezon City. There must be something wrong with the incident. If he sees any irregularities or abuse on the part of the police, we will gladly entertain his complaint, Albayalde told reporters in a press conference.

On Sunday night, the Crisologos were arrested along with at least 40 people in Barangay Bahay Toro, Quezon City over alleged vote buying and selling activities.

However, a commotion ensued when the Crisologos tried to stop the arresting officers from taking the 40 civilians.

First, our policemen arrested people for alleged vote buying. They allegedly padlocked the gate of the house so that the policemen cannot get out. Our men were just able to get out when our reinforcement arrived at the scene, Albayalde said.

Crisologo appealed to the PNP chief the irregularities that the police committed while conducting the operation, claiming the arresting policemen were not in uniform and that they do not have any search warrant.

Albayalde said they would look into Crisologo's claims.

On Monday morning, QCPD Director, Brig. Gen. Joselito Esquivel, together with Albayalde and National Capital Region Police Office Director, Major Gen. Guillermo Eleazar, visited Crisologo in Camp Karingal.

Esquivel said the mayoralty candidate arrived and shouted on top of his voice, humiliating the police operatives, and questioned their presence.

PCMS (Police Chief Master Sgt. Luisito) Maninang, the team leader, was pulled by Bingbong Crisologo and the house owner Arturo delos Reyes inside the compound, causing some injuries upon his person. All the police operatives were held inside the padlocked gate and prevented by the group of Congressman Crisologo from going outside, Esquivel said.

He said the padlock was removed by other police officers who came as reinforcement.

Esquivel, however, confronted Crisologo after he reportedly swore at his men.

At 2 p.m. on Monday, Crisologo was released from detention.

Arrest won't affect mayoralty bid

Crisologo remains a candidate in the city's mayoralty race despite his apprehension, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.

"It will not affect his candidacy in the short term," Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in an interview Monday.

He added that an investigation will still be conducted on the allegations against Crisologo.

At the same time, Jimenez said there is nothing wrong with Crisologo's arrest as authorities are just doing their job.

"His arrest is part of the operation against the vote buying that was witnessed there," he added.

Crisologo is going against incumbent Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte and former congressman Ismael 'Chuck' Mathay III for the city's top post. (with report from Ferdinand Patinio/PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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