Police nab Manila vice mayor, 5 councilors-A A +A
Sunday, February 17, 2013
MANILA CITY -- Police arrested Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and five city councilors for their alleged involvement in an illegal gambling activity in Tambunting Street, Sta Cruz Saturday afternoon.
Moreno, who is detained at the Manila Police District (MPD) as of this posting, immediately cried political harassment of their arrest.
The vice mayor went to Tambunting Street after being informed that policemen were allegedly harassing the councilors hosting a bingo game there.
Moreno said the policemen squeezed the neck of one of the councilors. He said he tried to pacify the commotion but was the one arrested instead.
Moreno and the five councilors -- Ernesto Isip Jr., Bernardito Ang, Joel Chua, John Marvin Nieto, and Ma. Asuncion Fugos -- were arrested and detained at MPD station.
"Magtatatlong oras na ho ako dito sa presinto. Hangang ngayon wala pa hong maikaso sa akin (I'm detained for three hours here yet the police can’t cite charges against me)," Moreno said over the phone interview with ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) Saturday night.
"Kasi ho yong nangyari, nagpapabingo yong mga konsehal na kandidato namin, sa partido po namin. Sabi nila, yong mga pulis, yun daw ay P.D. 1602, yong gambling (What happened was that the councilors, who are members of our political party, hosted a bingo game there. The policemen said that the activity is in violation to P.D. 1602)," Moreno said.
Presidential Decree (P.D.) 1602 of 1978 prescribes stiffer penalties on illegal gambling and penalizes persons who directly or indirectly take part in any illegal games, including bingo.
Moreno, however, explained that bingo is not considered as gambling since no bet is involved.
"Yung PD 1602 may tatlong requisites...yong una, kailangan game of chance. O yan, bingo, game of chance yan. Kailangan may papremyo, o yan may papremyo. Pero kailangan may taya, eh wala namang taya," Moreno said over ANC.
"Congress amended (PD) 1602, excluding bingo as gambling. It was declared as part of parlor games of any event or situation," he added.
Former President Joseph Estrada visited Moreno at the MPD Station. Estrada, who will run for Manila mayor against Alfredo Lim, is Moreno's running mate in the 2013 midterm elections.
The incident was politically-motivated, Estrada said, adding that they will file charges against policemen involved in the "illegal arrest" of Moreno and the five city council members.
Moreno also described the incident as political harassment.
He said they were hosting bingo games around Manila City for five years now, adding that they are now prohibited to host the game after they transferred to another political party. (Sunnex)