Jinggoy: Vhong Navarro innocent, did not rape girl

MANILA, Philippines - And a senator has joined the fray.

Saying he felt sorry for the entertainer, actor-turned-senator Jinggoy Estrada said he visited the controversial Vhong Navarro in the hospital on Sunday night, January 26.

The senator said he's convinced that Navarro was set up, belying claims he attempted to rape a woman he was with on the night he was beaten up on January 22. (READ: Police blotter says Vhong Navarro tried to rape girl)

"Walang attempted rape. Walang nangyari," Estrada told reporters Monday, January 27. (There was no attempted rape. Nothing happened.)

Estrada recalled what Navarro told him about what happened inside a condominium unit at the Fort on January 22 – essentially the same account narrated by Navarro in his Sunday interview with Boy Abunda on ABS-CBN's Buzz ng Bayan. Both Navarro and Abunda are talents of ABS-CBN.

Navarro claimed he was asked by a woman he knew to her condo unit where he was eventually beaten up by two men. The men and the woman then brought him to a police station where they put on record allegations that the entertainer had tried to rape her. 

Navarro, host of ABS-CBN's It's Showtime, is still in the hospital recovering from the assault. (READ: Navarro denies rape allegations against her)

"He has to achieve justice dahil sa ginawa sa kanya. Talagang bugbog sarado," Estrada added.

The senator said Navarro has been his friend and that he knows him to be a good man. "Unang-una kilala ko si Vhong matagal na. Actually, ang tawagan namin 'best friend.' Hindi ganun ang ugali ng tao. Mabait siyang tao. At ako’y naniniwala wala [siyang kasalanan]. Hindi nagda-drugs iyon, hindi nagsi-sigarilyo iyon." (I believe he's innocent. He's a good man. He does not do drugs. He does not even smoke.)

Estrada said he also plans to get in touch with the National Bureau of Investigation to get updates on the status of the case. (READ: DOJ: Vhong Navarro case merits probe)

The police blotter at the Southern Police District Office however showed that Navarro had tried to rape the woman in her condominium unit, prompting her to call for help from friends. It was rival GMA-7 network that first aired the story on the blotter, prompting yet another online war among followers of the two networks.

GMA had to issue a statement Sunday night denying social media posts that said the woman is related to the network's chairman and CEO, Felipe Gozon. (Read the statement here). - Rappler.com