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Angry Chris Brown still stuck in Philippines

23 July 2015, 17:00

Manila - 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. It has named a prosecutor to look into the complaint.

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.

"He's still in the country. He has not applied (for the permit) yet," spokeswoman Elaine Tan said in a statement to AFP.

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".

The Grammy award-winning singer 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.

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

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

The complaint, copies of which were shown to the press, said that the promoter and Brown were paid over a million dollars to appear at the New Year's Eve concert but failed to arrive "to the dismay of the ticket holders".

They said they demanded a refund but both Brown and his local promoter refused to pay.

The Iglesia ni Cristo is a minority in the Philippines -- where 80 percent of its 100 million people are Catholics -- but wields considerable political clout and has two to three million members according to media.

Brown's botched concert was supposed to be a showcase of the sect's Philippine Arena, the country's largest indoor stadium, 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.

The Brown saga was the latest incident of foreign entertainers riling conservative religious groups in the devoutly Catholic Philippines.

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, pop singer Lady Gaga drew the ire of conservative Catholics for allegedly blasphemous imagery, prompting strict censoring 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.

He was sentenced to five years probation -- now lifted -- a yearlong domestic violence programme and 180 days of community labour.

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