The promoter of American singer Chris Brown briefly appeared at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday afternoon and said through counsel that he would respond to the allegations against him in two weeks.
Still a detainee of the Bureau of Immigration (BI), Filipino-Canadian John Michael Pio Roda was present at the start of the DOJ's preliminary investigation into the estafa complaint filed against him and Brown by Maligaya Development Corp. (MDC) over the singer's failure to show up for a 2015 New Year's Eve Countdown concert at Philippine Arena.
Pio Roda's counsel Sarah Abraham said her client intends "to address all allegations during the next hearing, when we file our counteraffidavit."
State prosecutor Christine Buencamino gave Pio Roda 15 days to respond to the allegations.
Brown, now out of the country after being prevented for a few days from leaving last week because of the complaint, did not send a representative in the proceedings.
US$1-M talent fee
MDC, the firm that operates the 55,000-seat arena owned by the influential Iglesia ni Cristo, sued Brown and Pio Roda mainly for allegedly failing to return the $1-million (S$1.37 m) talent fee that was paid to the singer.
The complaint prompted the DOJ to order the BI to issue a lookout bulletin on Brown, who had a one-night concert on July 21.
The order delayed Brown's scheduled departure on July 22 but he eventually secured an emigration clearance to leave on the 24th.
Pio Roda, however, was detained by the BI the night before Brown's departure, citing him several immigration violations, including working in the country without a permit.