Vhong Navarro, Cedric Lee set to bring battle to court
Vhong Navarro’s camp is set to file charges against alleged perpetrators in a recent mauling incident that left the TV host-comedian black and blue.
The cases they plan to file against model Deniece Cornejo, businessman Cedric Lee, his sister Bernice Lee, and several other still unnamed men, who took part in the assault happened in a condominium unit in Taguig, on Wednesday, Jan. 22 are the following: frustrated murder, claiming that the crime was premeditated and Navarro “was the victim of torture, (and sustained) serious physical injuries;” extortion, for attempting to get up to two million pesos from him; and serious illegal detention, which is non-bailable.
“When you look at Vhong – what he says – the evidence on record is going to be very strong,” Vhong’s lawyer, Alma Mallonga, told “TV Patrol.”
Yesterday, Lee and Cornejo spoke up on the issue, with him saying they only acted as such to prevent her supposed rape.
Lee claimed Navarro fought back and resisted being brought to the police station, so “napilitan namin siyang suntukin at naupakan namin siya. Nagkabasag-basag ang mukha niya.”
Cornejo stated: “Kung meron mang inosente at biktima dito, wala nang iba kundi ako.”
In a separate phone interview with “TV Patrol” tonight, Mallonga reacted to Lee’s version of the incident.
“It’s so easy to say these things, but in the end, it’s the evidence. Meron tayong mga medico legal reports; there is going to be (I understand) a CCTV on this; there are text messages; there are circumstances,” she enumerated.
Mallonga questioned the details of the police blotter, particularly why it was filed at the Southern Police District (SPD) in Bonifacio Global City.
“Pati yung nakalagay dun sa police blotter, ’yung explanation nila, kung totoong merong nangyari, tapos dun sa kahuli-hulihan, nakalagay, (na) hindi naman sila magsasampa ng kaso; anong klaseng complaint yun?
“And, this supposed to (have) happened in Burgos – sa’n dinala si Vhong? Bakit sila umabot sa SPD? Nasaan yun? Napakalayo, hindi ba? So, in the end, ’yung sinasabi nila na parang kami ang naglabas nito – no.”
She believes “this whole thing, ’yung pagb-blotter” is “premeditated plan.”
“Ang ginawa nilang krimen na ito kay Vhong, binrutalize nila, tinorture nila, binaboy nila, and in order for Vhong not to say anything, ginawa nila ito: Ni-report nila sa pulis, parang sabi kay Vhong, wag kang magsasalita, wag kang magsusumbong, para may insurance kami ipapa-blotter namin ha, pero wag kang mag-aalala dahil ito’y mawawala naman. Basta gawin mo lang yung sinasabi namin, ano yung pinapagawa, magbigay ka ng not 200 thousand, 500 thousand, one million, naging two million…” Mallonga said.
She responded to Lee’s statement that he took a video of Navarro’s face unless the actor aggravates his bruises. Mallonga said that immediately after the incident happened, Navarro went to the hospital “and the medico legal records will support the injuries he sustained.”
On the issue of extortion, in which Lee explained that the one million they were asking for was for the damages supposedly wrought on the condominium and for moral damages, Mallonga asked, “Sino bang nag-damage nun? Sinong nanuntok? Sinong nakasira? And one million? For a TV? Nakakatawa, nakakatawa… The condition of Vhong is such that ano bang mas believable? Would he be in a position to say no? To negotiate? Nakita niyo ang kanyang itsura eh, nakita niyo ang kanyang kundisyon.”
She pointed out that the priority of those who care for Vhong is his recovery, although “unfortunately…merong lumabas na publication na pinapakita doon, na parang pinapalabas nila na, si Vhong pa ang perpetrator ng isang krimen. It’s too much. And they have encouraged Vhong to speak his truth because in the end, because of yung pananakot sa kanya, yung threat, not only to him but to his family members, his best protection is to tell the truth, which is what he did.”
Mallonga reiterated Navarro’s stand.
“He is not a rapist. May takot siya sa Diyos, may pagmamahal siya sa kapwa niya, sa mga anak niya, sa pamilya niya. He may not be a saint, but he is not a criminal. He is a victim of a vicious crime.”
She challenged Lee’s camp, who is mulling to charge Navarro with libel, to “Do it. Just do it. Because we’re also prepared to stand by the truth, we have preserved the records, we have documented everything – magf-file kami ng kaso – and it will be very soon. Tomorrow we’ll file the case, so do it. Gawin na nila ’yung gusto nilang gawin, and mabuti siguro magkaalaman na. Because we are very confident on the basis of the evidence…and just the consistency of the story, the believability, the credibility of the story.”