Chris Brown leaves Philippines after ordeal over legal issue
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Chris Brown finally left the Philippines and performed at a night club in Macau, but not without last-minute complications at the end of a three-day ordeal.
The 26-year-old R&B artist sang at a packed concert in Manila on Tuesday, then wasn’t able to leave because a fraud complaint was filed against him and a promoter for a canceled concert last New Year’s Eve.
In a series of social media postings during the delay, most of them since deleted, he said “I’ve done nothing wrong,” expressed frustration over being stranded and pleaded to be allowed to leave.
Late Friday afternoon, Brown was able to obtain a departure clearance from the Immigration Bureau.
Before boarding his private jet, he invited Filipinos to join him in a party in Macau.
“Manila, it was fun. I love y’all, man. If you can come to Macau, party tonight! Turn up,” he said in a video posted on Instagram.
But once the group boarded, a three-hour wait followed because of a flight plan discrepancy.
They took off at 9:04 p.m. for Hong Kong, the Philippines’ Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Eric Apolonio said. He said that Brown’s original approved flight plan had Hong Kong as its destination and wasn’t revised for unclear reasons.
During the delay, Brown missed a concert in Hong Kong that has not yet been rescheduled.
In a later Instagram video, Brown called Macau “popping” in apparent celebration of his arrival.
He said he returned to Manila to make up for the canceled New Year’s Eve concert. The initial performance was to be at the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena, operated by a corporation owned by the politically influential Iglesia ni Cristo religious group.
In its complaint, the Maligaya Development Corp. alleged Brown and promoter John Michael Pio Roda canceled after being paid in full for a $1 million contract. The organizers said they were told at the time that Brown lost his passport and couldn’t make the concert.
Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison said late Friday that Pio Roda was held at a bureau detention center because a complaint against him alleges he was working in the country without a permit and absconded or ran away from his debt.
Because of that, Brown was required to obtain a departure clearance.
In a tweet since deleted, Brown said: “This is a very serious situation and someone needs to be held accountable for mixing my name up in all this.”
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said state prosecutors will summon Brown for a preliminary investigation into the complaint, but his presence at that stage of the criminal proceedings can be waived. Charges will be filed in court if prosecutors find probable cause to charge Brown and the promoter.
“What is important at this point is for him to know that there are criminal proceedings against him at the preliminary investigation level,” De Lima told reporters.
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