By Alexandria San Juan
Quezon City mayoral candidate Bingbong Crisologo was arrested on the eve of the May 13 midterm elections for obstruction of justice and disobedience after he allegedly interfered into one of the anti-vote buying operations of the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
Police Lt. Col. Alex Alberto, chief of the QCPD-Talipapa Police Station (PS-3), said his men were conducting a “legitimate anti-vote buying operation” in a compound in Barangay Bahay Toro Sunday night when they spotted Crisologo’s volunteers in the act of “vote buying.”
Alberto said that while they were arresting the suspected vote buyers and vote sellers, Crisologo arrived and ordered the police to release the suspects, who turn out to be his volunteers.
The incumbent Quezon City 1st District representative also allegedly said they will file a complaint against the arresting officers for trespassing, police said.
But these were all denied by Crisologo.
He said that upon arriving at the place, uniformed police officers were already outside the compound while officers in civilian were already arresting his volunteers inside.
According to Crisologo, he was just asking the police what was happening and why are they arresting his men but he was handcuffed instead.
“Wala silang karapatang pumasok sa loob ng bahay. Illegal yung search warrant, illegal yung search nila doon (They have no right to enter the house as the search was illegal),” Crisologo said.
Crisologo was taken to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit (CIDU) office at the QCPD Headquarters in Camp Karingal with his son, lawyer Edrix, while investigation is ongoing.
“Nagpunta kami doon sa compound. Tinatanong namin kung anong nangyayari. Kin-classify na nila as whatever, dadamputin na kami. Just as the same way ngayon, tinatanong namin sino nag-order ayaw nilang sagutin. Natatakot ba sila (We went to the compound to inquire what was happening, but we were arrested instead. Just like now, we are inquiring who gave the order, but they refused to respond. Are they afraid of someone)?“ a handcuffed Crisologo asked.
According to Crisologo, the pieces of evidence seized by the police are all just training kits for their watchers in tomorrow’s (May 13) elections.
“Yung mga nakuha ay training kit for watchers. Yan yung naabutan nila doon. The volunteers are preparing for tomorrow. 5:30 a.m. po kailangan sila magsimula. Eh wala na, inaresto na nila lahat. Wala na kaming watchers (What they took as evidence are training kits for watchers. Those were what they found at the compound. The volunteers were preparing for tomorrow’s elections as they need to start working by 5:30 a.m. Now, we no longer have watchers as they were arrested),” Crisologo added.