Isko Cries Harassment After 11-Hour Detention

MANILA, Philippines --- Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and five of his political allies yesterday walked free from a Manila police precinct jail after being detained for 11 hours as a Manila prosecutor junked the illegal gambling charges that the police lodged against them last Saturday.

Moreno - the running mate of former President and now Manila mayoralty candidate Joseph Estrada in the May 13, 2013, midterm elections - was released from prison at around 5 a.m., Sunday, after Chief Inquest Prosecutor Elaine Yarra-Cerezo junked the charges against him and five of his allies due to lack of evidence.

Also ordered released from prison were Councilors Joel Chua, Ma. Asuncion Fugoso, Yul Servo Nieto, and Manuel Zarcal.

''Finally, we were released by Fiscal Cerezo for insufficiency of evidence. Thank you for your prayers and support. It shows we did nothing wrong,'' Moreno said in his Twitter account.

The Manila vice mayor likewise posted on his Twitter account photos of the bruises he got during their arrest the other day.

In a separate interview, Moreno maintained that he and five of his political allies did not violate any law or even the Omnibus Election Code. Moreno insisted that Republic Act No. 9287, which amends PD 1602, excludes bingo as among the prohibited acts of gambling.

The arrested Manila officials described their apprehension as ''politically motivated.''

''It's a plain, clean and simple fanfare,'' Moreno said. ''This harassment was not the first time. They even executed a peace covenant with us and now, here comes another political harassment,'' Moreno said.

''We will fight all hoodlums... those who have been throwing their weight around because of the belief that they are the law. We should always remember that we are in a civilized society where tyrants have no place,'' he added.

On Saturday, police collared Moreno and his allies for holding a bingo game in Santa Cruz, Manila which the police claimed was not sanctioned by the government. The incident came a day after candidates in the Manila local elections signed a ''peace covenant.''

Supt. Ricardo Layug said they confiscated bingo cards bearing Moreno's name and that of his running mate, Estrada.

Moreno said they have been holding bingo games for five years already but were arrested only now. He insisted that they were not violating any laws and that the bingo game was legal.

The Vice Mayor, who sustained bruises after he was dragged by policemen, described the arrest and the ensuing scuffle as similar to ''martial law.''

''When I came, the policemen said gambling is not permitted and we asked them why. We explained there is no money involved, this is just fanfare. The people became angry at the policemen and there was chaos so we decided to go with the police peacefully so no one would get hurt... It was like martial law here in the city of Manila,'' Moreno said.

The five arrested persons were brought to the Manila Prosecutors Office for Inquest at around 4 a.m. yesterday.

Sought for comment, Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim denied giving orders to Manila policemen to arrest Moreno and his allies due to illegal gambling.

He, however, defended and commended the police officers who arrested the Vice Mayor and his allies, saying the law enforcers are only doing their mandated job to ensure that Manila remains gambling-free.

Citing the report he received, Lim said the police officer tried to talk to Moreno in a peaceful manner and asked him to stop the illegal bingo game but the Vice Mayor did not heed their request.

''Eh ang problema, ayaw nilang tumigil. Anong gagawin ng mga pulis? Sila ang tagpagpatupad ng batas, tapos ako ang dinadamay?'' Lim pointed out.

''Ano ba ito, gagawa ka ng krimen tapos 'pag hinuli ka, ang ituturo mo ako? Hinahaluan ng pulitika ito. Hindi maganda iyon. Harapin lang nila 'yung katotohanan. Eh di kwestyunin nila kung illegal yung arrest,'' he said.

On the claims that the bingo games had become a tradition in Manila for five years now, Lim said: ''Kasinungalingan 'yan. Nagulat nga ako nung sinabi niya na limang taon na daw niyang ginagawa eh. Wala silang ginagawang bingo. May bingong nangyayari doon sa mga pamilya, sa bahay-bahay. 'Yung ina-allow 'yung sa pamilya lang, pero ito open to the public.''

''Illegal gambling kung hindi pamilya ang naglalaro. Pag pamilya, exempted. Ibig sabihin naandon kayo sa loob ng bahay, nagkakatuwaan kayo, parang parlor games. Sabi nila, napanood ko sa TV, 2,000 daw ang taong naroon eh. Paano naging family game iyon?''


Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Honda Launches the New Generation BeAT Fi
    Honda Launches the New Generation BeAT Fi

    Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI) recently unveiled its latest offering, the New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia. Daiki Mihara, President of Honda Philippines, Inc., is confident of the potentials of the New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series in the local scooter market. “The New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series is a reflection of Honda Philippines’ continued commitment to provide powerful, safe, fun, and worthwhile driving experience to the growing market of …

  • US to China: Stop reclamation now
    US to China: Stop reclamation now

    The United States yesterday called for an “immediate and lasting halt” to reclamation works in disputed waters in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea, saying Beijing’s behavior in the area was “out of step” with international norms. To that end, there should be an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants,” US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a high-level security conference in Singapore. …

  • Pinoys urged to observe Flag Day
    Pinoys urged to observe Flag Day

    Filipinos are urged to commemorate the significance of the national flag as the country commemorates Flag Day from May 28 to June 12, the nation’s Independence Day. The Philippine flag was first unfurled after the Philippine Revolutionary Army defeated Spanish forces in the Battle at Alapan in Imus, Cavite on May 28, 1898, according to the Official Gazette. “The national flag was yet to be formally announced on the day of that battle. …

  • House urged to probe ‘wash sale’ of treasury notes
    House urged to probe ‘wash sale’ of treasury notes

    Congress should look into what could be the anomalous wash sale of P14.3 billion worth of treasury notes last year by officials of the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said yesterday. In a statement, Zarate said the questionable wash sale, covering 28 transactions, might be a fund-raising effort of the Aquino administration for the 2016 elections. The DBP Employees Union (DBPEU) on Friday filed a graft complaint with the Office of the …

  • Qatar court to rule on case of Pinoys charged with espionage
    Qatar court to rule on case of Pinoys charged with espionage

    Qatar’s Court of Appeals is set to deliver a verdict today on the three Filipinos charged with espionage and economic sabotage. One of the three Filipinos who was employed by state-owned Qatar Petroleum was sentenced to death, while the two others who were working at a military base were meted life sentence. The prosecution said the three Filipinos spied by transferring to Philippine officials military and economic information related to the types of aircraft and tanks to be used by the armed …

  • 16 hurt in Jolo police camp blast
    16 hurt in Jolo police camp blast

    Security forces launched a massive hunt for the bombers that set off Friday night two explosives near a mosque inside the Philippine National Police (PNP) Camp Asturias in Jolo, Sulu, injuring 11 police officers and five civilians, including three children. The attack appears to have been well-planned as attackers first lobbed a grenade and waited for responding policemen to arrive before setting off a bigger improvised explosive device (IED). Four of the victims are still in grade school, …

  • POEA seeks close monitoring of Saudi’s situation
    POEA seeks close monitoring of Saudi’s situation

    The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has instructed all recruitment agencies sending Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia to closely monitor the situation in the country because of the escalating hostilities in adjacent Yemen. The POEA issued an advisory instructing recruiters to keep a close watch on the Saudi provinces of Najran, Jizan and Asir, which are situated on the Saudi-Yemen border. The POEA also directed the recruitment agencies to submit a list of all the workers …

  • Army to provide treatment for corporal behind bus hostage incident
    Army to provide treatment for corporal behind bus hostage incident

    The Philippine Army promised mental health treatment for an Army corporal who took at least 20 bus passengers hostage in Camarines Sur on Friday, even as police filed a complaint for slight illegal detention before the Prosecutor’s Office. “If proven that he is mentally unstable, we will not abandon him. Rene Prajele showed signs of being mentally disturbed while in detention at the Del Gallego police station in Camarines Sur, adding that the officers who interviewed him could not get a clear …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options