Quezon City police defend move to arrest Ateneo player Chibueze Ikeh at Big Dome
Chibueze Ikeh is holed up inside the Ateneo dugout at the Smart Araneta Coliseum while school and team officials talk to the police officers serving a warrant for the player's arrest on Wednesday night. Jaime Campos

ATENEO player has been released on bail after spending the night in a jail cell with around 20 inmates as the Quezon City police defended its move to arrest the Blue Eagles' Cameroonian slotman at the Araneta Coliseum shortly after a game against University of the Philippines.

Chief Inspector Roger De Lumen, one of the warrant officers who arrested Ikeh at the Big Dome, told Spin.ph the player spent the night in a cell at Camp Karingal in Quezon City on the strength of an arrest warrant for violation of R.A. 9262 or the Violence Against Women and Children Act.

De Lumen said the complainant was a Filipina who was a former girlfriend of Ikeh.

“Ka-live in nya 'yun. Nag-away siguro sila. Dun lumabag siya (Ikeh) sa napagtibay na batas na violence against women,” De Lumen said.

[See Ikeh released on bail, set to suit up for Ateneo-La Salle game on Sunday]

Officials of Ateneo, including coach Bo Perasol, reportedly arrived and facilitated the release of the Blue Eagles center early Thursday morning by posting a P24,000 cash bond. 

“Nakapag-pyansa naman siya, kaya may pansamatalang kalayaan siya,” said De Lumen, who served the warrant of arrest issued by RTC Branch 104 Judge Catherine T. Manodon. “He can still play sa mga next games ng Ateneo, unless mag-baba ulit ng order ang korte sa kanya.”

Although Ikeh has gained his temporary freedom, De Lumen said the Cameroon national is barred from leaving the country unless he gets permission from the judge.

De Lumen, who works under the leadership of QCPD head Gen. Edgardo Tinio, also denied rumors spreading online that Ikeh was charged with extortion, saying the warrant clearly stated that the arrest was for domestic violence.

“Walang nakalagay sa warrant (if it's physical or emotional abuse) eh. Pero ang sa amin, arestuhin siya kasi 'yun ang kautusan ng korte,” he said.

Asked why the arrest was made at the Big Dome after a game, De Lumen said, “Arrest him anywhere in the country ang nakalagay sa warrant eh. Saka dun (sa game) namin siya tiyak na makikita, kaya dun kami pumunta.

“Hindi naman pwedeng sa bahay lang kasi minsan village o subdivision nakatira, mahirap pa ang pag-aresto. Pero ginalang naman namin siya, hinintay naming matapos ang game niya. Pangit naman kasi na before the game namin siya arestuhin,” he added.

[See Police team arrives at Big Dome looking for Ateneo player]


De Lumen also assured that Ikeh was treated well inside the jail facility.

“Ok naman siya sa loob. Mabait naman. Saka marami siyang kasama run. Hindi naman siya nasaktan. Yan ang siniguro namin,” he said. “Wala naming bumista o sumunod mula sa Ateneo sa kanya kagabi, kaninang umaga lang sila lahat nagdatingan.”

He said Ikeh will have to attend all his hearings to avoid another arrest.

“Sa ngayon, malaya siya. Pero unless magbaba ulit ng warrant ang korte, aarestuhin ulit siya. Korte ang magde-decide nun, taga serve lang kami,” he added.

“Kailangan niyang umattend sa mga hearing sa kanya. Otherwise, pwedeng makulong ulit siya.”

A source who read the affidavit on the case said it was filed by a woman based in Guam who had close ties with Ikeh and would travel back and forth to the Philippines in her capacity as a professional sports coordinator.

According to the woman, Ikeh borrowed money from her on several occasions which amounted to around US$1,000 and she even gave the Ateneo player a Samsung S5 mobile phone as a gift. There was a falling out and the relationship turned sour. It was stated in the affidavit that the two fought at the Ateneo dormitory, wherein Ikeh repeatedly called the complainant a ‘bitch’ in a public verbal spat. When the woman demanded the phone she gave Ikeh, he allegedly dropped it on the ground, causing the complainant to leave. No physical abuse was mentioned. 

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