44 'watchers' among those arrested
MANILA (UPDATE3)--Quezon City mayoral candidate Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo was arrested Sunday night for obstruction of justice in relation to his group's alleged vote-buying.
He was arrested in an anti-vote buying operation in Barangay Bahay Toro.
Also arrested was his son, Atty. Edrix Crisologo, and 44 election watchers.
They spent the night at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit of the Quezon City Police District.
Crisologo and his son face complaints for obstruction of justice, unjust vexation, disobedience and resisting arrest resulting in physical injury and grave coercion.
According to police, 2 of their officers posing as Quezon City residents stood in the vicinity of a house where P300 were purportedly being handed out in exchange for a vote.
A person allegedly belonging to Crisologo's camp approached the officers, let them in the house, and gave them cash and a photo of Crisologo.
Those inside the house apparently began to suspect the identities of the officers, which led to a commotion.
When the police acknowledged their identities, members of Crisologo's camp allegedly wouldn't let them leave the premises. They then contacted Crisologo to inform him of the situation.
When Crisologo arrived at the house, he contacted police because he wasn't sure whether the operatives were telling the truth.
But Station 3 commander Police Lt. Col. Alex Alberto immediately ordered Crisologo's arrest when he got to the scene.
Alberto explained that they arrested Crisologo for obstruction of justice.
In a video posted on his official Facebook page, Crisologo said election watchers were being trained in the said barangay.
He said the police suddenly stormed the house where the training was held and did not have any search warrant on them.
Crisologo added that the police were not wearing uniforms.
"Pagdating namin, sinabihan namin 'yung pulis, 'Bakit sila nag-trespass? Dumating 'yung commander nila, si Colonel Alberto, talagang inaresto kami lahat. Pati ako inaresto," he said.
(When we arrived, we asked the police why they trespassed. Their commander, Colonel Alberto, arrived and arrested all of us.)
"Basta pinosasan na lang kami. Dito mo makikita na pati pulis, nagagamit na ng mga kalaban namin sa politika," Crisologo added.
(We were handcuffed. This shows that even the police can be used against us by our political rivals.)
An 80-year-old man who was among those arrested told ABS-CBN News that he received money with Crisologo's photo, but insisted he was asked for nothing in return.
Crisologo, the incumbent congressman of the first district of Quezon City, is running for mayor against Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte.
He is running under President Rodrigo Duterte's party, PDP-Laban. --With reports from Jeffrey Hernaez, Lyza Aquino, and Ernie Manio, ABS-CBN News