MANILA, Philippines - Private guards and not policemen will provide personal security to television host-actor Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro, Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II said yesterday.
Roxas made the clarification even as he confirmed granting the request of Navarro’s lawyer Dennis Manalo and manager Chito Roño to increase police presence in and around the actor’s residence in light of death threats to his family.
He said the arrangement was agreed upon during a meeting Friday at Camp Crame with Manalo and Roño. PNP chief of directorial staff Director Leonardo Espina was also at the meeting.
“During our meeting, they asked and we agreed to increase police visibility at his residence to address their concerns about his and his family’s safety,” Roxas said, adding that private guards provided by ABS-CBN would handle Navarro’s personal security.
“They asked for visibility in their home address so PNP will include it in their mobile patrol route. His personal security is being handled by company guards,” Roxas said in a text message to The STAR. The actor-television host remains confined in a hospital where he is being treated for injuries from severe beatings by businessman Cedric Lee and several others inside a unit in Forbeswood condominium in Taguig City last Jan. 22. Lee had claimed they beat up Navarro after they caught him trying to rape model Deniece Cornejo. Navarro denied the accusation, saying Lee’s group was trying to extort up to P2 million from him.
The DILG chief said they would also look into Lee’s possible violation of the conditions in his gun license.
“We, the DILG and the PNP, will review their (Navarro’s camp) request to determine if there are any violations in relation to the licenses and/or permits to carry of the guns allegedly in the possession by the respondents in the incident currently under investigation,” Roxas said.
Also being checked, Roxas said, are reports of lapses in procedures or protocol observed by the Southern Police District (SPD) in its handling of Navarro’s case. – With Aie Balagtas See