NBI: Deniece's rape claim impossible
MANILA - It was impossible for TV host and actor Vhong Navarro to have raped model Deniece Cornejo on the night of January 22, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Wednesday.
NBI National Capital Region Assistant Director Vicente de Guzman, in a press conference, said closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage taken from the Taguig condominium where Cornejo lives show that the woman went outside her condo unit before businessman Cedric Lee and his companions arrived to supposedly rescue her.
"I think it's not possible yung sinasabi nilang attempt to rape Miss Cornejo," he said. "Kasi po very glaring dito sa ating footage na there was no incident na si Deniece was inside that room [at that time]."
De Guzman confirmed an initial NBI report that Vhong's testimony denying he raped Cornejo is supported by CCTV footage at the condominium.
"Ang mga ebidensya po natin apart from the testimony of Vhong Navarro, is the video itself. Dito po nagtutugma testimony ni Vhong Navarro with that of what we saw in the CCTV," he added.
Deniece: Rescued by friends after forced sex?
Cornejo, in the rape complaint she filed against Navarro on Wednesday, claimed that the actor forced her to perform oral sex on him and even tried to insert his penis in her vagina.
"It was only by a miracle that my friends suddenly appeared to help me," she said.
Cornejo said she was "crying, inconsolable, and hysterical" and one of her friends brought her to the poolside to calm her down.
The CCTV footage, however, show that Navarro was alone in Cornejo's room when Lee and his companions arrived on January 22.
It shows Navarro arriving at 10:38 p.m.
Two minutes later, a woman the NBI identified as Cornejo is seen outside her condo unit.
Then, at 10:41 p.m., Cedric Lee is seen entering the building.
Several men later followed.
A separate CCTV camera on the elevator also tells the same story.
Navarro is seen going up and Cornejo going down two minutes later.
Lee is next seen cracking his fingers and going up, followed by two other men.
For the next six minutes, Navarro is believed to be in Cornejo's condo unit, with Lee and two other men.
Another man, identified only as Mike, is next seen going upstairs.
All of this happens while Cornejo is outside her unit.
She is next seen being fetched by Lee and his sister Bernice and they all go upstairs.
The next elevator CCTV clip shows Navarro encircled by all of the people involved in the incident including Zimmer Raz and Ferdinand Guerrero.
Cornejo's lawyer, Howard Calleja, however, downplayed the CCTV footage.
He said the footage is just part of the story.
"Makikita po natin dito kung sino ang nagsasabi ng totoo, at kung sino ang gumagawa ng mga script. CCTV can only show you part of the story. What we have here are eye witnesses that can tell the whole story. We are not even sure if the CCTV is clear, has been tampered, or whatever has happened with that," he said.
The NBI has already filed a string of charges against Cornejo, Lee, and his sister Bernice and 5 others.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima says her department is ready to issue a lookout bulletin order against Lee and Cornejo.
There are reports the two have booked a flight for Singapore for the first week of February. - with reports from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News; ANC