MANILA - The lawyer of Vhong Navarro on Wednesday downplayed a new rape complaint filed by a woman against the actor and TV host, saying the allegations are "irrelevant" and "not unexpected."
"Gusto lang namin sabihin na kahit naman sino ay puwede mag-kaso. Ang tanong ay kaya mo ba patunayan iyung paratang? May ebidensya ka ba?" Atty. Alma Mallonga asked hosts Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino on "Aquino & Abunda Tonight."
The new rape complaint was filed at the Pasig City Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday by a yet-to-be-named woman represented by Atty. Virgilio Battala.
Batalla said the alleged rape incident happened in 2010.
Mallonga, however, questioned the motive and timing of the new complaint.
She believes that the new rape charge could be a ploy by the camp of Cedric Lee.
"Some weeks ago, Cedric has already been saying that he's been talking to some women and I understand that his lawyer has said na mayroon silang pasabog," Mallonga revealed.
"Hindi kami nagulat kasi intindi pa nga namin that this is just the first of others," she added.
Navarro, in his affidavit, claimed that he was set up by model Deniece Cornejo for an extortion attempt allegedly led by Lee.
The actor said he was blindfolded, tied up and attacked by 6 to 7 men inside Cornejo's condominium unit in Taguig.
Cornejo, in her counter-affidavit filed last January 29, alleged that she was "rescued" by Lee's group from being sexually assaulted by the actor, which supposedly led to the mauling.
Mallonga also responded to speculation that the new case was inspired by Cornejo's allegations against the actor.
"If you're saying that you were inspired by the rape complaint of Deniece, alam na natin na hindi iyun nangyari. Impossible dahil nakita natin sa ating dalawang mata na hindi iyon nangyari, that you cannot rape who was not there. You cannot witness a rape when the victim is not even there," she said.
Mallonga said Navarro is aware of the new case and the actor is keen on facing the charges and proving his innocence.
"This has made him more determined to see this thing through," she said.