‘Vote! Love! Support PBA,’ among signs borne by ‘Spider-Man’
MANILA, Philippines—The costumed spectator who disrupted Game 5 of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals between San Miguel and Magnolia on Friday night at Araneta Coliseum will be facing multiple charges, the Inquirer learned late Friday night.
PSSG Oliver Bocade of Quezon City Police Department’s Station 7 said that 31-year-old Paolo Felizarta is facing charges on the grounds of unjust vexation, and alarm and scandal after entering the playing court which caused a fracas late in the game.
Bocade, who is the case investigator, said that Felizarta, who was donning the costume of “Spider-Man” simply wanted to send across a message, which was “to be wise in this coming election.”
Felizarta, who hails from Imus, Cavite, streaked onto the court at the 3:06 mark of the final period, bearing a sign.
He ran into Beermen center Fajardo and collided with Christian Standhardinger before he was eventually caught by members of the Araneta’s security and was dragged into the coliseum tunnel where he was unmasked and asked about his objective.
“I just want us to love each other. That’s it,” Felizarta told reporters in Filipino. “I couldn’t clearly see through the mask. I’m sorry.
“It’s not my intention to hurt anyone. My message is about spreading love so why would I even go out there and hurt [June Mar]?”
Felizarta, who was yet to be identified at that time, told league Commissioner Willie Marcial that he decided to make a statement “because it’s the elections.”
He said that he had been doing stunts like this “since 2010” and that he is running a charity.
“I think this is the only chance for us to get things right,” Felizarta explained in Filipino.
Two more men were captured by venue security who were later identified as Flenn Lola and Rayahn Paredes.
Paredes hit Lola under the assumption that the latter was in cahoots with Felizarta. All three were brought to QCPD’s Station 7 later that night.
Fajardo, who was shaken after the collision, told reporters after the game that his jaw continued to hurt. Though he said that he won’t be pressing charges against Felizarta as “no one was seriously harmed.”
Recovered from Felizarta were at least 10 neon-green signs. Some of them read “Peace for the Philippines,” “Vote! Love!” and “Support PBA.”
Felizarta is expected to be detained until next week as his processing his case could start on Tuesday the earliest due to the weekend and the midterm elections set on Monday. Bocade also noted that it usually takes three days for cases to be raffled to a municipal court.
Bocade said Felizarta could post bail. The amount, though, will be determined by a fiscal.
“In our experience, minor offenses like this would set someone back by P2,000,” he told the Inquirer.
Felizarta was eventually joined by his younger brother and cousin, who both asked not to be named. The pair said they had no prior knowledge of Felizarta’s plans to disrupt the game and stressed that he is different from the “Bicolanong Spiderman” whose charity work is documented in the internet.
They said that they are considering on suing San Miguel’s Ronald Tubid, who in the Inquirer’s footage could be seen throwing a punch to the back of Felizarta’s head.
The Inquirer tried to ask Felizarta for further comment to which he begged off from.
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