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MANILA, Philippines – After 3 weeks of detention at the Bureau of Immigration’s detention facility in Bicutan, Taguig City, Filipino-Canadian concert promoter John Michael “Mike” Pio Roda was released after posting a P50,000 cash bond through his lawyer Raymond Fortun.
Roda was arrested in a hotel in Pasay City on July 23 by Philippine Bureau of Immigration (BI) agents. BI spokesperson Elaine Tan said Fortun requested for the promoter’s bail last July 24, but it was only approved on August 11. (READ: Chris Brown’s Fil-Canadian promoter detained by Immigration)
Roda’s company, Pinnacle Live Concepts, was supposed to produce Chris Brown’s New Year’s Eve show at the Philipppine Arena last December 14, 2014. The show was cancelled because Brown said he had lost his passport. The arena is owned by the influential religious organization Iglesia ni Cristo (INC), and is managed by the Maligaya Development Corporation (MDC).
MDC claimed the company lost around $1 million from the cancelled show. The international R&B singer, who was in the country last July 21 for his Manila concert, was barred from leaving Manila for 3 days because the charges filed by MDC required him to secure clearance from the Philippine Department of Justice (DOJ) before he could be allowed to leave the country.
Brown was allowed to leave after obtaining the clearance letter, but Roda remained in detention.
According to the BI, Roda was held for “working without the appropriate visa” and for being an undesirable alien. The BI placed Roda on its hold departure list and confiscated his passport.
Roda has since been released. In a July 3, 2023 letter to Rappler, Roda sent copies of the decision of the BI in February 2017 and a Quezon City Regional Trial Court in October 2016, that dismissed the cases against him.
“The dismissal was due to lack of probable cause and recognition of my dual citizenship, a status I’ve held since birth. The case was found to be frivolous and malicious,” Roda said. He claimed that the allegations against him “were made by an entity that was not party to the performance contract involving Mr. Brown.”
He said the total amount spent on the cancelled concert only amounted to half of the alleged $1 million, claiming the money was already being paid to the INC company under a “compromise agreement.”
The Filipino-Canadian promoter said in a statement on August 6, “In due time, [I] will execute and sign the appropriate legal document that will detail the true facts.” – Rappler.com