CCTV supports Vhong's story: NBI source
MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Closed-circuit camera television (CCTV) footage supports the story of actor and TV host Vhong Navarro regarding the circumstances around his mauling, a source at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said on Tuesday.
ABS-CBN News has secured screenshots of one of the CCTV footage taken at Forbeswood Heights Condominium in Taguig City where Navarro was allegedly attacked by a group of men led by businessman Cedric Lee.
The NBI now has 3 raw footage taken at the condo. One camera is in the building's entrance and exit, another is at the elevator, while the third one is in the lobby.
An NBI source said Navarro's statement is consistent with the CCTV footage, including the time and people mentioned in the alleged mauling incident.
The footage shows businessman Cedric Lee and his companions carrying a tied-up Navarro leaving the elevator and the condominium.
It shows 6 men and two women.
CORNEJO LEAVES CONDO, LEE ARRIVES
Lee claimed that he and his sister arrived in Cornejo's condominium unit and found Navarro on top of the model, trying to rape her.
He said they were supposed to pick up Cornejo late on January 22 when they heard her screaming inside her unit.
He said since her front door was unlocked, they went inside and found Cornejo fighting off Navarro’s advances.
"Ang instinct ko, I grabbed him from the back at hinila ko pababa ng kama. Si Deniece ay tumakbo sa sister ko at inilabas na siya sa condo unit. Naiwan dun sa condo, ako at ‘yung lalaki na di ko pa kilala ay si Vhong," Lee recalled.
The CCTV footage, however, tells a different story.
Around 22:38 or 10:38 pm of January 22, Navarro is seen entering the condo's lobby.
At 10:39 p.m., the TV host is inside the elevator going up the condo.
At 10:40 p.m., a woman identified as Cornejo is seen leaving the condo, which means Lee could not have witnessed Navarro on top her in her room as he has alleged in several interviews.
A minute later, 10:41 p.m., a man identified as Lee enters the condo.
Several men, believed to be Lee's companions, are seen entering the condo two minutes later.
The woman is also seen leaving the condo again.
The NBI said it is studying the timeline to see if it supports Cornejo's claim of attempted rape by Navarro.
Navarro, in his interview aired on ABS-CBN Sunday, said he was surprised by Lee's arrival while he was visiting Cornejo.
Here's Navarro's narrative:
"Pinuntahan ko na siya mga ganoon din, mga 10:45 din. Kasi ang usapan namin 10:30, mga ganun.
"Ito na. Nung nag-take out ako ng food, papunta na ako sa kanya, tumawag ako sa kanya. Sabi ko nandito na ako sa lobby. Sabi niya, ‘Okay na, diretso ka na. Kita na lang tayo sa elevator. Magkita tayo sa baba.’ Sabi ko, ‘Okay, akala ko kasi mahigpit eh.’ Yun kasi nung una ang sabi niya eh. Pagdating ko doon, 'yung guard, deadma. May dalawang yaya pang nakakita sa akin, kumaway pa.
"Pagdating ko doon, ang tagal nung elevator bumaba. May bumukas na paakyat so sumabay na ako paakyat. Nagkita kami sa taas. Nagulat siya. Sabi niya, ‘Akala ko sa baba tayo magkikita?’ ‘Eh ang tagal ng elevator.’ Ito na papasok na kami, weird yung sinabi niyang line, doon na ako medyo kinabahan.
"Pagbukas ng pinto, sabi niya, ‘Ikaw naman binigla mo ako, binigla mo ako, hindi pa ako nakapaglinis.’ Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Alam mo naman na pupunta ako.’ Paglagay ko ng food, papunta ako sa sofa, bigla siyang lumabas. Pagharap ko palabas na siya, may lumabas na lalaking nakatutok na sa akin na baril.
"Tapos lumabas na si Cedric Lee. Una minumukhaan ko siya pero nagpakilala na rin siya sa akin. Ang ginawa niya tinali niya 'yung kamay ko, tinali niya 'yung paa ko. Yung ulo ko nilagay nila sa sahig tapos pinagsasapak ako ni Cedric."
LEE: VIDEO WILL SHOW TRUTH
Lee, however, said Tuesday that at least two videos will exonerate him from allegations that he and Cornejo conspired to blackmail Navarro by accusing him of attempted rape.
In an interview with radio dzMM, Lee said the CCTV footage at the Forbeswood Heights condominium on the night of the incident will clearly show that Navarro arrived first at the condo, and that he and his companions arrived later.
"Makikita niyo sa CCTV camera nauna siya dun bago ako. Yung sinasabi niya na nandoon na ako, na may baril na ako pagpasok niya, hindi po totoo yun," he said.
Asked why the condominium guards did not investigate the incident, Lee said they told the guards about the alleged attempted rape, and that they were bringing Navarro to the police.
"Nagtanong yung guard, Sabi namin: Ito nangre-rape. Dadalhin namin sa presinto.' Wala rinecord nila. Makikita naman yun sa CCTV...Pwede naman sila sumama pero di sila sumama. Nag stay lang sila. Siguro pakiramdam nila hindi na nila trabaho yun," he said.
NBI agents went to Forbeswood Heights Condominium Tuesday morning to get more details on the case.
Security is tight at the condo.
Visitors are required to leave their IDs and sign on the log book at the lobby, which also has a CCTV camera.
The area is manned by security guards.
Based on the guards' account, Cornejo informed them that Navarro and some relatives were coming over on January 22.
Lee also used the lobby, but not everyone in his group signed in the log book.
The guards said they also called the attention of Lee's group when they saw Navarro covered in blood as he was brought down to the lobby.
One of Lee's companions then made a scene, disturbing other residents, and diverting the guards' attention.
That was when Navarro was supposedly rushed to a car.
Cornejo moved in at the condo around a week before the incident. She had not yet given the condo's management any other information about herself, except her name.
Authorities are still trying to find out who actually owns the condo unit, or if it had other residents, or if Cornejo is just renting the place. - with reports from Zyann Ambrosio, Jenny Reyes, Maan Macapagal, and Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News; David Dizon, ABS-CBNNews.com