Vhong Navarro files charges vs Lee, Cornejo, et al


Posted at Jan 28 2014 05:41 PM | Updated as of Jan 29 2014 06:03 AM

Actor-host Vhong Navarro, seen here with Atty. Alma Malonga, gives his sworn statement in relation to legal charges against the group of businessman Cedric Lee earlier on Tuesday. Photo: ABS-CBN News

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Actor-host Vhong Navarro has filed criminal complaints against the group of businessman Cedric Lee, who allegedly attacked him inside a condominium unit in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig last week.

Navarro's legal counsel, Atty. Alma Mallonga, confirmed with DZMM on Tuesday that they formalized the complaints at around 5 p.m.

Lee, sibling Bernice Lee, and model Deniece Cornejo are now facing charges of serious physical injuries, grave threat, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, blackmail, and serious illegal detention, which is a non-bailable offense.

The five other respondents in the cases are: Zimmer Rance, Ferdinand Guerrero, a certain "Alias Mike," and two unidentified accomplices.

According to Navarro, he was tied up, blindfolded, and attacked by Lee's group last January 22, leaving him with serious injuries including a broken nose that required reconstructive surgery.

Based on the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the respondents are believed to have plotted the incident.

In recommending to the Department of Justice the filing of criminal cases, an NBI agent brought a medico-legal report; the sworn statements of Navarro, his driver Rommel dela Cruz, and an unnamed friend of the TV host; affidavits of the condominium security guards, and the policemen who made the blotter entry of the incident at the Southern Police District; a copy of the blotter; and a CCTV footage supposedly shedding light on the incident.

"Hindi pa siya kumpleto. But to me, the case, the evidence that will be used, is already there. I'm very happy. Vhong is relieved," Mallonga said.

According to Mallonga, the most "essential" evidence backing Navarro's charges is the CCTV footage, which purportedly shows those who were accused in the mauling incident last January 22.

"When you see the CCTV footage, if ever you get to see it at the proper time, you will be appalled by the brazenness of the named perpetrators of this crime, and even more by the psychotic ability to say with a straight face na ganito ang nangyari," the lawyer said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Lee accused Navarro of "twisting the facts," saying the host's account of the incident is an exaggeration.

Cornejo, meanwhile, maintained that Navarro attempted to rape her and that she will file the appropriate charges against him. -- with a report from Zhander Cayabyab, DZMM