Men who beat up Vhong Navarro to face raps

Posted at 01/28/14 11:44 AM

MANILA – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is set to file charges against Cedric Lee and other persons accused of mauling actor and television host Vhong Navarro.

"I was informed na mayroong serious illegal detention and serious physical injuries or frustrated murder. I am not sure yet [which between the two]," NBI Director Virgilio Mendez said.

"We are still trying to process na ma-identify ang kasama [ni Lee]. Hindi na natin i-delay ito. Kahit hindi kumpleto ang identities i-file na natin," he added.

Mendez said Lee went to the NBI last Friday and promised to go back yesterday but failed.

"He promised to appear yesterday. Wala atang sumipot kahapon. Anyway alam naman nila na may investigation. In the PI (preliminary investigation). They will be afforded all the opportunities to give their side," he said.

Mendez said the charges are likely to be filed before the Department of Justice.

The "It's Showtime" host earlier revealed that he was beaten up inside a condo unit in The Fort last January 22, Wednesday.

He said he was invited by his friend, Deniece Cornejo, to go to her unit at the Forbeswoods Heights on that date. He said that when he went up to the unit, Cornejo suddenly left the unit while six to seven men came in, beat him up, and took videos of his private parts.

He also said the men, led by Lee, tried to extort P1 million from him.

A police blotter on the incident filed by Cornejo and Lee accused Navarro of trying to rape the girl. Navarro denied that he is a rapist.

For his part, Lee said he was just supposed to pick up Cornejo from the condo unit when he heard shouting inside. He said he and another friend entered the unit and pulled Navarro off Cornejo.

He confirmed that they hit the actor several times because he was trying to fight back, and that they tied his hands and feet to prevent his escape.

NBI executive officer Vicente de Guzman earlier said the agency already has a copy of the CCTV footage of the incident, submitted to them by the guards of the condominium.

De Guzman said the NBI is also requiring the Southern Police District (SPD) to submit the alleged blotter against the TV host.

Navarro, earlier, said he was just forced to sign the blotter for "blackmailing" purposes.

"Nakalagay po doon is hindi nila itutuloy, hindi sila magrereklamo kasi nga may usapan. Ginawa lang 'yung blotter na 'yun just in case magsumbong ako, meron silang panghahawakan para sa akin," the actor said.

The Taguig City police earlier denied receiving any official report or blotter against Navarro.

De Guzman said the NBI is also looking into the profile of Lee who also figured in a similar incident in 2007, involving athlete David Bunevacz, reportedly one of his partners in a cosmetic clinic business.

He added that they might also summon the real owner of the condo unit where Navarro was mauled and the police who received the blotter of the incident.