MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday, January 31, agreed to “increase police visibility” in the vicinity of comedian Vhong Navarro’s residence after he, through his lawyer and manager, expressed concern about his safety.
On January 22, Navarro was mauled by several men in a condominium unit in The Fort. Navarro said it was a case of extortion.
In a statement, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas said it was Navarro’s manager and lawyer who sought a meeting with him.
Roxas said the DILG and PNP would also “review” Navarro’s request to check “if there are any violations in relation to the licenses and/or permits to carry of the guns allegedly in the possession by the respondents in the incident currently under investigation.”
The two parties have radically different versions of the story. Deniece Cornejo, who has a unit in the condominium, accused Navarro of attempted rape. She said her friends, led by businessman Cedric Lee, came to the condominium right on time to rescue her.
But Navarro said he was set up by Cornejo and Lee. The National Bureau of Investigation, which has already filed a complaint against Cornejo, Lee, and 6 others, said CCTV footage from Cornejo’s condominium support Navarro’s version of events. Cornejo, meanwhile, has filed rape charges against Navarro before a Taguig court.
The DILG and PNP also promised to check if members of the Southern Police District had lapses in handling the case. A police blotter at the Southern Police District showed that Cornejo filed a complaint, accusing Navarro of attempted rape on the night of the incident, but the comedian said this was false. He claimed the complaint was filed so it could be used to blackmail him later.
Navarro said Lee and his companions demanded money so they would not release a video of him “confessing” to rape.
Roxas also ordered a PNP unit tasked with supervising private security agencies to check if the security guards in Cornejo’s condominium also had lapses in security protocols. – Rappler.com