"I've done nothing wrong"
(MANILA, Philippines) — Grammy award-winning singer Chris Brown defended himself on social media Friday but officials say he still hasn’t applied for clearance to leave the Philippines, where he’s being investigated on a fraud complaint.
The 26-year-old R&B artist has been stuck in Manila for a third day after running afoul of a corporation, run by an influential religious group’s members, that filed a fraud complaint against him for a cancelled concert last New Year’s Eve. He performed Tuesday at a packed concert in Manila but has not applied for the emigration clearance despite repeated notices that it was required.
“This is a very serious situation and someone needs to be held accountable for mixing my name up in all this,” Brown tweeted Friday. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”
He said he came back to Manila to do a show to make up for the cancelled 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.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Friday 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.
The clearance from Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison is needed because of the fraud complaint. Brown must show up in person to obtain the clearance.
In several postings on social media, Brown has addressed the travel delay, pleading in one on Instagram late Thursday night, “Please, please let me leave, please.”
A representative in the U.S. said Wednesday that the travel delay was a misunderstanding and Brown would leave the Philippines on Thursday. No further comments were available, and the promoter Pio Roda could not be contacted.
He missed a concert in Hong Kong that has not yet been rescheduled. Another concert was scheduled in Macau on Friday night.