Chris Brown rants, breakdances while marooned in Philippines

Thursday July 23 2015

Singer Chris Brown performs during a free concert in Champ de Mars, downtown Port-au-Prince on June 26, 2015. Chris Brown, barred from leaving the Philippines over a row with a powerful religious sect, insisted in a foul-mouthed rant on Thursday that he did nothing wrong. PHOTO | AFP



American hip-hop star Chris Brown, barred from leaving the Philippines over a row with a powerful religious sect, insisted in a foul-mouthed rant on Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

The 26-year-old's private jet remains grounded at Manila airport two days after he performed at a concert in the capital, amid a fraud complaint filed against him by the indigenous Christian group Iglesia ni Cristo (Church of Christ).

"Can somebody please tell me what the fuck is going on? I don't know. I'm reading headline after headline. What the fuck? What the fuck is going on," the pierced and tattooed singer said in a video post on his official Instagram account that later appeared to have been taken down.

Brown, whose profanity-laden catalogue includes songs like "Wet the Bed" and "Body Shots", has 12 million followers on the popular photo-sharing service.

The justice department said the row erupted after Brown failed to show up for a scheduled New Year's Eve concert at an Iglesia-owned indoor arena on Manila's northern outskirts last year.



Earlier press reports quoted Brown saying he was unable to travel to the Philippines at the time because he had lost his passport.

The immigration bureau said Brown must prove there were no grounds to charge him with fraud before he is allowed to leave the country.

State prosecutors are studying the Iglesia complaint.

The video appeared to have been taken in a hotel room, with soda cans and snacks scattered on tables. His companions were sprawled on couches, wrapped in white blankets.

In a second video post, Brown raised both hands in the air and said: "I didn't do nothing".

He then break-danced in front of a giant flat screen television that was showing computer games.

Brown was smiling and appeared playful in both videos, posted in the early hours of Thursday.

The Grammy Award-winning singer has not left the Philippines, contrary to a US media report that he has left for Hong Kong, Bureau of Immigration spokeswoman Elaine Tan told AFP.

Press reports said he was holed up in a Manila hotel two days after his Tuesday concert at another Manila venue.

Calls and emails to the Iglesia ni Cristo and to Brown's spokeswoman and concert promoters Thursday seeking comment on the case were unanswered.

Although a minority in the Philippines where 80 percent of its 100 million people are Catholics, the Iglesia ni Cristo wields considerable political clout.

The sect, which has around two to three million members according to media reports, votes as a bloc during elections. As a result, many politicians are quick to pay the group its respects.

Brown's botched concert was supposed to be a showcase of the sect's Philippine Arena, the country's largest indoor stadium, which was built last year to mark its 100th anniversary.

Fans cheered and jeered Brown on his Instagram posts.


"Pay your debts, estafa (fraud) boy," Erwin John Antonio Capili (threetothehead7) commented.

"You might as well go to Palawan, while you're still here. Enjoy the beaches we have," Rach Mapa (rachelismbebe) said, referring to a tourist island famous for white sand beaches and dive spots.

The Brown saga was just the latest incidence of foreign entertainers riling conservative religious groups in the devoutly Catholic Philippines, a former Spanish and American colony.

In March, two members of British boy band One Direction who were known to have smoked marijuana each paid a 200,000 peso ($4,500) bond before they could perform in Manila.

In 2012, flamboyant American pop singer Lady Gaga drew the ire of conservative Catholics for allegedly blasphemous imagery, prompting strict censors' monitoring of her show.

Brown's squeaky-clean image crumbled in June 2009 after he pleaded guilty to assaulting then-girlfriend and fellow pop star Rihanna while they were driving to a pre-Grammy Awards party.

Brown was sentenced to five years probation, a yearlong domestic violence programme and 180 days of community labour.

His probation was finally lifted in March this year.