Lim: Moreno not above the law
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim has commended members of the Manila Police District for upholding the law and their sworn duties regardless of who the violators are.
This comes following the arrest of Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and five other councilors for holding a bingo game in Sta. Cruz, Manila on Saturday.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Lim said he is saddened that while illegal gambling is a clear violation of the law, Moreno and the other people arrested even had the audacity to claim that they were underdogs and were being harassed by the police.
Lim said Moreno even accused him of orchestrating the arrest for political reasons.
“Iyan ang hirap eh. Gagawa sila ng labag sa batas tapos pag umaksyon ang pulis hahaluan nila ng pulitika. Tapos kung sino-sino ang ituturo. Isa lang ang tanong diyan. May ginawa ba silang paglabag sa batas o wala? Kapag ba vice mayor ka o konsehal ka puwede ka nang lumabag sa batas? Kung ganyan eh di wala nang pulis na aaksyon?” Lim said.
Lim emphasized that no one will ever be above the law, even if you are an elected official.
“Ang konseho na kinabibilangan ng mga konsehal at pinamumunuan ng vice mayor, ang trabaho niyan ay lumikha ng mga batas sa Maynila sa pamamagitan ng ordinansa. Sila ang dapat na manguna sa paggalang at sa pagsunod sa batas para magsilbing magandang halimbawa hindi `yung sila ang promotor sa paglabag ng batas,” he said.
Lim said “the police is there to assert what is right against what is wrong.”
“They cannot just close their eyes because the violator is a government official,” he added noting that based on police reports, the illegal gambling was without permit, being done right on the street and served as an obstruction.
Meanwhile, Lim said he will run to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday to check whether Vice Mayor Isko Moreno violated the election law.
"Malaman natin sa Comelec tutal nag-eskandaluhan na. Sa Lunes hihingi kami ng opinion din sa Comelec pero as of now, sinasabi nung precinct commander eh nilabag nila ang batas in their concern. Pero liliwanagin ko, pinakikiusapan sila na itigil nila dahil ilegal ang kanilang ginagwa, nagpupumilit eh," Lim told radio dzMM on Sunday.
Reiterating that he has nothing to do with Moreno’s arrest, Lim said the police were only doing their job.
"The law applies to all, otherwise not at all, wala tayong sinisino. Tumupad ka sa batas. Kung walang batas, hindi pwedeng hulihin. Pero hangga't nandiyan ang batas, dapat ipatupad," the mayor said.
"Ang problema dito sa mga taong ito dahil porke sila ay nahalal, public official, ang paniwala nila ay they're above the law, na kahit lumabag sila sa batas hindi sila pwedeng aksyunan. Hindi yata pwede yun, kahit sino pa dito sa Maynila kapag lumabag ka sa batas ay kinakailangan managot ka at mahuli ka at ma-demanda ka," Lim added.
In an interview with radio dzRB, meantime, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Malacanang will not comment on the matter anymore.
“Wala kaming kinalaman doon,” she said.
After being detained, Moreno and five other Manila councilors were released Sunday morning by the Manila Police District after the court rejected the illegal gambling case against them. - with a report from dzMM