Model Deniece Cornejo and businessman Cedric Lee (back) attend the Department of Justice's preliminary investigation last February 22 on the mauling incident involving actor Vhong Navarro. Photo: ABS-CBN News
MANILA -- Vhong Navarro on Thursday filed a perjury case against Cedric Lee and four others in relation to the controversial January 22 incident that left the actor with serious injuries.
Navarro filed the complaint at the Manila Prosectuor's Office, as this is where Lee's group swore by their statements on the mauling incident, according to the actor's legal counsel, Atty. Alma Mallonga.
The respondents in the perjury case, aside from Lee, are his sister Bernice Lee, model Deniece Cornejo and his friends Zimmer Raz and JP Calma.
"Mapapakita natin na ang kanilang mga sinasabi ay hindi katotohanan," Mallonga said, referring to the counter-affidavits filed by the respondents in the criminal charges lodged against them by Navarro.
"These are deliberate falsehoods na kanilang sinabi para maitago 'yung kanilang kasalanan doon sa sinampang kaso ni Vhong for serious illegal detention against them," the lawyer said.
Aside from the non-bailable offense, Navarro filed five other criminal cases against Lee's group: serious physical injuries, grave threat, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, and blackmail.
Explaining why Navarro filed this seventh case, Mallonga said, "Ang sinasabi nag-submit ka ng isang dokumento wherein you're saying certain things tapos nanumpa ka na totoo 'yon. Pag nanumpa ka, puwede kang maging liable for perjury."
"Pero in order to show na mali 'yung mga sinasabi, kailangan ka magpakita ng ebidensya na mali 'yung kanilang sinasabi. And base doon sa evidence that we have, it is very clear na perjurious 'yung mga sinabi nila."
Mallonga added that the respondents' sworn statements showed inconsistencies on the important details of what transpired in Cornejo's condominium unit, specifically on the alleged incident of rape and who witnessed the incident.
"'Yung kay Cedric, malinaw na malinaw, all over media sinabi niya, 'Ako mismo nakita ko itong si Vhong na nakapatong kay Deniece,'" Mallonga said. "Ngayon ano'ng sinasabi niya sa counter-affidavit niya? Wala raw siyang nakita. Sinabi lang sa kanya ni Deniece, sinabi lang sa kanya ni Zimmer."
In addition to perjury, Mallonga said a libel case is "still on the plate" against Lee and Cornejo, who appeared in media interviews with their allegations of rape against Navarro.
"I have to tell you, ah -- si Vhong, hindi siya masaya that he has to file these cases," Mallonga said. "Hindi naman parang tatalon siya na, 'Yes, nakaganti na ako!' Hindi. There is no joy in his heart when he did this, but it is something that he feels he has to do protect himself, for his family, for his children and for those who are similarly situated."
Earlier on Thursday, Navarro also submitted his counter-affidavit in the rape charge filed against him by former pageant contestant Roxanne Cabanero at the Pasig City Prosecutor's Office. The actor also filed a perjury case against Cabanero, who has admitted an error in the hotel venue identified in her rape complaint. -- with a report from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News