Athlete David Bunevacz and wife Jessica Rodriguez
MANILA – Athlete and businessman David Bunevacz, who also had a rift with businessman Cedric Lee, finally broke his silence on the mauling case involving his former business partner and actor-host Vhong Navarro.
In a statement sent to ABS-CBN News, Bunevacz, who was once Lee's partner in a cosmetic clinic business, said hearing what happened to Navarro brought back memories of pain caused by his ex-business partner.
"I have heard of what happened to Vhong and Cedric and it greatly saddens me. It painfully brought back memories of our own tragic experience almost seven years ago," he said.
Bunevacz then shared the physical and emotional hurt Lee has caused him and his family that forced them to leave the country.
"Like Vhong, I was wrongfully accused, held against my will, physically violated, terrorized and death-threatened. It was in 2007 when we decided to leave the country for fear of our lives and the lives of our children. It was as if the rug was pulled from under our feet in an instant," he said.
In a previous report on entertainment site Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP), Jessica Rodriguez, Bunevacz's wife, narrated in an affidavit executed in Los Angeles, California, where the their family flew after the alleged mauling, about her husband's "badly beaten" state after meeting with Lee and their other partners.
PEP narrated Rodriguez's claims that threats were being received by their family from the mobile numbers of Lee and another partner, Tyrone Ong, days after the incident in 2007.
Lee and his group, however, denied the allegations before the National Bureau of Investigation.
Bunevacz and Rodriguez were later charged for estafa for alleged misuse of the clinic's funds during their stint as president and marketing director, respectively.
Seven years after the incident, Bunevacz said their family has forgiven Lee and has since found peace.
"Today, the physical pain and emotional burden have since then healed, and by the grace of God, we have found peace away from them all," he said. "Happiness has found us again because we chose to forgive the way the Lord has also forgiven us. We have lifted everything up to the Lord for He is sovereign."
But Bunevacz is still hoping that they will finally get the justice they seek, especially now that Lee is involved in another mauling case.
"What happened to Vhong is not the first time such a crime had been committed. It is clear that evil deeds are being exposed. I pray that this will be the last time that it will happen," he said.
"We continue to pray that one day, the truth about the accusations publicly hurled against us will be known and we will finally get our justice."