Vhong Navarro and Deniece Cornejo. Composite image
MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has managed to recover the deleted text messages exchanged by Deniece Cornejo and Vhong Navarro in relation to a January 22 incident where he was attacked, the actor's lawyer said Friday.
"We are so happy with the work that is being done by the NBI," Navarro's legal counsel, Atty. Alma Mallonga, told radio DZMM.
Noting she is not familiar with the "technique" used by the NBI, the lawyer said "my understanding is [the text messages] were recovered."
According to Mallonga, the messages were deleted from Navarro's mobile phone by Cornejo's group after the mauling, "[pero] na-retrieve namin lahat, lahat ng text messages."
"Doon mo makikita, ano... And we know for a fact that those text messages were sent and received. We know the [exchange] was made. Lahat 'yon, makukuha doon sa phone," she said.
Mallonga said their camp is now looking to gather further documents in connection with the text messages, including "confirmatory records [from] the telecom companies concerned to show that these messages were sent on this day, received on this day."
Globe Telecom's senior vice president and legal counsel, Atty. Froilan Castelo, earlier told ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda" that the communications provider does not keep an archive of subscriber's text messages.
He noted, however, that they have "transaction records, which [show] a text message was sent on this day, hour and minute."
Mallonga, in an earlier interview, said that the deleted text messages would help disprove Cornejo's claim that Navarro raped her.
Cornejo, in her rape complaint filed against Navarro last January 29, alleged that she was "rescued" by businessman Cedric Lee's group from being sexually assaulted by the actor, which supposedly led to the mauling.
Navarro denied this, saying he was set up by Cornejo for an extortion attempt allegedly led by Lee. The actor said he was blindfolded, tied up and attacked by at least six men inside Cornejo's condominium unit.
The "It's Showtime" co-host also said in his affidavit that he and Cornejo met at the same place earlier on January 17, when they supposedly had oral sex.
While Cornejo mentioned the same meeting in her sworn statement, she denied having any intercourse with Navarro at the time.
The actor has since filed six criminal charges against Cornejo and Lee's group: serious physical injuries, grave threat, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, blackmail, and serious illegal detention, which is a non-bailable offense.
In a supplemental affidavit filed by Navarro's camp last February 6, the actor included alleged text messages sent to him by Lee on January 23 and 24.
Lee, in his alleged messages, supposedly demanded Navarro to pay for damaged furniture in Cornejo's room. One of the messages details the account number where Navarro was allegedly told to deposit the payment.
It is unclear whether Navarro's camp submitted the newly recovered text messages from Cornejo during the preliminary investigation of the Department of Justice held Friday.
The next hearing is scheduled on February 21.