Evidence speaks for itself, lawyer says on Vhong's case

Posted at 02/19/2014 12:12 AM | Updated as of 02/19/2014 1:20 AM

MANILA - Atty. Dennis Manalo, the former lead counsel of Vhong Navarro in the controversial mauling incident last January 22, expressed confidence in the evidence gathered so far by the actor's camp.

"I was leaving behind the case with very competent lawyers, and I knew that at that point in time, the evidence would already speak for itself," Manalo said on "Aquino and Abunda Tonight" on Tuesday.

"It's just a matter of time when the public would know what really happened," he added.

Referring to his resignation as Navarro's lawyer, Manalo added, "It was a difficult decision. To begin with, I don't usually do that (quitting). But something more important to the nation came up."

Manalo earlier said he has to focus on being the lawyer of Ruby Tuason, one of the accused in the plunder cases in the pork barrel scam and Malampaya fund scam.

Manalo, who first confirmed that he had quit as Navarro's legal counsel last February 8, also said yes when asked by TV host Kris Aquino if he felt confident about the cases filed by his former client.

Navarro has filed six criminal charges against businessman Cedric Lee, model Deniece Cornejo, and six others -- serious physical injuries, grave threat, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, blackmail, and serious illegal detention, which is a non-bailable offense.

Cornejo, meanwhile, filed a rape case against Navarro. She claimed that the actor forced her to perform oral sex on him and tried to insert his penis in her vagina on January 22, the night the group of Lee allegedly came to her rescue.

Navarro denied attempting to rape Cornejo and claimed that he was a victim of extortion. He said he was blindfolded and tied up before being attacked by at least six men, including Lee.

Among the evidence submitted so far by Navarro's camp, which is now led by Atty. Alma Mallonga, are several CCTV footage taken inside the premises of Forbeswood Heights, the condominium unit where the mauling took place; and recovered text messages exchanged between Lee's group and Navarro.

The Department of Justice ha scheduled the second hearing for the consolidated cases on February 21.