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Crisologo urges House to probe his arrest

MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City 1st District Rep. Vicente “Bingbong” Crisologo, who lost to Mayor-elect Joy Belmonte, has urged the House of Representatives to investigate his arrest on the eve of the May 13 elections due to alleged obstruction of justice.

Crisologo delivered a privilege speech during the Monday plenary session and recounted his “illegal” and “baseless” arrest together with son Frederick and 43 supporters in Barangay Toro.

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“I urge this House to investigate the matter and come up with a law that will further strengthen these rights and prevent the police officers from violating them and imposing heavier penalties that they may fear the law,” he said.

“We should not allow the police officers to shamelessly trample upon our rights and abuse their police authority,” he added.

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The lawmaker branded his arrest as “purposely planned” to prevent him from exercising his right to vote. He also slammed Lt. Col. Alex Alberto and the other cops who arrested him, saying they “bring shame rather than honor” and “abuse rather than protect.”

The district representative also pointed out his immunity from arrests under Sec. 11, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution. The provision states that a “Senator or Member of the House of Representatives shall, in all offenses punishable by not more than six years imprisonment, be privileged from arrest while the Congress is in session.”

Although Congress was on a break that time as it adjourned on February 9 to May 19, Crisologo argued that the House was still in session on May 12 because the chamber was holding committee hearings.

“The only time that it can be aptly said that we are not in session is when we adjourn sine die,” he added. The 17th Congress’ sine die adjournment is from June 8 to July 21.

Crisologo was arrested on the evening of May 12 for alleged vote-buying, but the PNP later clarified it was for obstruction of justice.

READ: Crisologo, son arrested for alleged vote-buying of poll watcher

READ: QC mayoral bet Crisologo arrested for alleged obstruction of justice, PNP clarifies

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The Office of the Prosecutors’ Office of Quezon City ordered the release of Crisologo and others on the day of the elections, pending further investigation. (Editor: Eden Estopace)

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer’s live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019

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