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Isko Moreno accuses Mayor Lim of issuing order that led to his arrest


Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno on Tuesday accused his former ally, Mayor Alfredo Lim, of issuing an order last January to pave the way for his arrest for conducting a bingo game. At a press briefing, Moreno presented a handwritten note supposedly bearing Lim's signature giving directives to "disseminate info that bingo is gambling" and that "appropriate actions should be taken." GMA News Online called up Lim's office to get his side, but he was not there since Tuesday is a holiday. The mayor's media relations officer, Ichie Cabayan, and his chief-of-staff, Ricardo de Guzman, also did not answer repeated calls. The document, which Moreno claims was handed to him by a male employee from Lim's office, was labelled a "priority" and dated January 26, 2013—less than a month before the vice mayor's arrest for illegal gambling last February 16. Moreno, who was eventually released due to lack of evidence, also presented a supposed memorandum allegedly signed by Lim's chief-of-staff giving the order to ban bingo games in Manila to the police and barangay officials. However, neither document contained a categorical order for Moreno's arrest. "Bakit hindi siya nag-order na arestuhin din ang video karera at ang bookies? Bakit bingo lang? Alam niyo kung bakit? Reaction niya lang iyon sa ginagawa namin for so many years," Moreno said. "Hindi naman namin dinedeny na we've been doing this for so many years. Dati kasama pa nga siya [Lim]. Dati hindi iligal nung kakampi pa namin siya. Ngayon iligal na," he added. Presidential Decree 1602, which punishes illegal gambling, lists bingo as one of the prohibited acts. However, Republic Act 9287, which imposes stiffer penalties on illegal numbers games, does not ban bingo. Moreno earlier said the bingo game he held in Manila is not covered by the law, since it did not include any wager. Lim: Isko politicizing arrest The Manila mayor earlier said that Moreno is only politicizing his arrest. Moreno is the running mate of Lim's main rival for the Manila mayoral race, former President Joseph Estrada. "Ang hirap dito, lalabag sila sa batas, tapos hahaluhan nila ng pulitika, at ako ang pagbibintangan," Lim said in an interview last February 18. Elections chief Sixto Brillantes Jr., for his part, meanwhile earlier said that Moreno did not violate any campaign rules when he held the bingo game. Estrada, for his part, said that he is also convinced that Lim was behind Moreno's arrest. He also assured local cops that he will not go after those involved in his running mate's detention if he wins as mayor. "Walang duda na siya [Lim] ang nag-utos nito. Walang kinalaman ang mga pulis. They cannot dictate on the mayor. They were just implementing the mayor's order," Estrada said at the same press briefing. — BM, GMA News