SPD cops in Vhong case relieved

by Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Feb 04 2014 01:31 PM | Updated as of Feb 04 2014 09:31 PM


MANILA – Five Southern Police District (SPD) officials and personnel who were on duty when model Deniece Cornejo filed a blotter report against Vhong Navarro have been temporarily relieved from their posts.

SPD director Chief Superintendent Jose Erwin Villacorte said District Investigation and Detective Management chief Supt. Nelson Bautista and PO3 Dalmacio Lumiwan, who processed the blotter report, have been relieved.

Also relieved were PO3 Lory Laureto, PO3 Eugene Pugal, and SPD officer of the day Sr. Insp. Eduardo Alcantara.

Villacorte said the five policemen will be placed under the District Personnel Holding Unit of SPD, while an investigation by the District Internal Affairs for possible administrative lapses, such as the failure to bring a beaten Navarro to the hospital, is being conducted.

The "It’s Showtime" host was brought to the SPD after he was beaten up by businessman Cedric Lee and his companions for allegedly attempting to rape Cornejo last January 22 inside her unit at the Forbeswood Heights Condominium in Taguig.

Navarro denied the allegation and filed various charges against Cornejo, Lee, and several other people.

The NBI has already gotten hold of CCTV footage taken from the condominium unit's lobby and elevator. The NBI said it was impossible for Navarro to rape Cornejo because the footage showed that she went out of the room even before Lee arrived. Lee thus could not have seen Navarro on top of Cornejo as he has alleged in interviews.

In an earlier interview, Villacorte said changes to the current protocol such as suggesting a mandatory medical record from an injured person filing a blotter might be proposed.

Villacorte had also said policemen who were present when Navarro signed the blotter asked the TV host several times if he wanted to go the hospital.

"In several instances, sinabihan po nila si Mr. Navarro na ipa-medical dahil ng nakita po nila ay magtatagal ang paghilom ng sugat niya. Sinabihan po siya ng ating mga imbestigator—not one time, but several times. Si Mr. Navarro lang po ang nag-refuse," he said.

Meanwhile, Atty. Dennis Manalo, lawyer of Navarro, said the blotter would not stand in court.

"That document will not stand, as it is right now, because it is full of infirmities and will not have any leg to stand on," Manalo said.

"I don't see any possibility how a court of law, looking at all the circumstances under which that document was executed as well as the omissions... which are clear on the part of the rape victim. It would not stand in court anymore," he said.