Brown finally allowed to leave Philippines

MANILA: Grammy award-winning American singer Chris Brown is finally on his way out of the Philippines after a three-day

delay due to a fraud complaint against him for a cancelled concert last New Year’s Eve.

Brown was able to obtain a certificate late on July 24 that allows him to leave the country, said Elaine Tan, spokeswoman of the Immigration Bureau.

The 26-year-old R&B artiste 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 New Year’s Eve gig. He performed on July 21 at a packed concert in Manila.

Journalists saw Brown and around 10 others boarding his private plane parked at an airport hangar, with one taking a selfie before going into the plane.

Tan said Brown obtained the departure clearance at the bureau’s extension office and not at the main office in downtown Manila where dozens of journalists were staking out.

She said the clearance was given after “verifying that Chris Brown has no other derogatory record apart from the (immigration lookout bulletin)” that was issued on July 22.

“Departure formalities will be implemented by immigration officers at the airport,” she added in a text message.

Earlier on July 24, Brown tweeted, “This is a very serious situation and someone needs to be held accountable for mixing my name up in all this.”

“I’ve done nothing wrong,” he added.

He said he returned to Manila to do a show to make up for the cancelled 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 cancelled after being paid in full for a $1 million contract.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on July 24 that 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.

In several postings on social media, Brown has addressed the travel delay, pleading in one on Instagram late July 23 night, “Please, please let me leave, please.”