MANILA – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima believes that the CCTV footage taken at Forbeswood Heights Condominium in Taguig City where TV host-actor Vhong Navarro was allegedly mauled by a group of men led by businessman Cedric Lee can be admitted as evidence in court.
In an interview on "Aquino and Abunda Tonight," de Lima said that the CCTV footage only needs to be verified by those who preserved it before it came to the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
"Oo, siyempre [it is admissible in court]. Kapag may ba mag-authenticate e. Kung sinuman ang kumuha ng CCTV, kung sino yung nag-preserve ng CCTV na 'yan, i-authenticate lang," she told hosts Boy Abunda and Kris Aquino.
The NBI earlier said that the CCTV footage taken at Forbeswood Heights Condominium matches the statement of Navarro.
De Lima added that the NBI is also lucky to get hold of the CCTV footage early, avoiding any attempts of tampering or manipulation.
"Walang indikasyon na it was manipulated," she said. "Masuwerte 'yung NBI nakuha nila kaagad. So kung meron man may mga plano para mag-tamper nun, pare i-delete or whatever, hindi na nagawa dahil nakuha agad [ng NBI]."
Meanwhile, de Lima denied giving Navarro special treatment and said it is just one of the many NBI investigations that get fast results.
Atty. Howard Calleja, legal counsel of Lee and Deniece Cornejo, earlier accused the Department of Justice of giving the actor special treatment.
"Hindi po namin kasalanan na itong kaso na 'to elicited so much attention. Maybe it's because of the personalities involved. Maybe dahil si Vhong may mga fans or what," de Lima said.
"No special treatment. Ginawa lang naman ng NBI [ang kanyang trabaho]. Just one of those cases na mabilis ang resulta," she added.