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Vhong Navarro, family getting threats –lawyer

January 31, 2014 2:12pm

(Updated 6:35 p.m.) Television host and actor Vhong Navarro and his family have been receiving threats since he was allegedly mauled by the group of Cedric Lee and Deniece Cornejo last week, a television report said Friday.

This was one of the reasons why film director Chito Roño, Navarro's manager, and lawyer Dennis Manalo met with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and police Director Leonardo Espina on Friday at Camp Crame, GMA News TV's "Balitanghali" reported.

The meeting lasted for more than an hour, the report said.

“The lawyer and manager of actor and TV host Vhong Navarro today sought a meeting with me, which was also attended by PNP Director Leonardo Espina, to express their concerns about their client and the case regarding him,” Roxas said.

“During our meeting, they asked and we agreed to increase police visibility at his residence to address their concerns about his and his family's safety,” he added.

Manalo said Roxas and Espina offered to provide security escorts “to make sure no harm will be inflicted further on Vhong,” but he clarified that what they were asking was police presence and visibility at Navarro's residence.

“There is no need for (security escorts) right now. Sabi po sa amin ay makaaasa kami sa police presence and visibility para masawata ang anumang pananakot sa kanya,” he said.

Also he said Navarro's family were concerned about an unidentified man roaming their neighborhood.

“Isang insidente dun sa bahay ni Mr. Vhong Navarro ay merong hindi kilalang taong umaaligid at nagsabi pang pinabubuksan niya yung gate,” Manalo told reporters after the meeting.

“Aside from this, Mr. Vhong Navarro has been receiving anonymous text messages... these text messages... contain threats and we have been advised that this matter should be referred to the bureau investigating the case so that they can study how it can be used for the case and determine who these people sending these messages are,” he added.

The television report said Navarro's camp raised their concern on the alleged protocol violation committed by some members of the Southern Police District during the time Navarro was brought to the precinct until he was asked to sign the blotter.

“May concerns kami about and we were informed they have started to look into it and see if there was any violation on the part of the SPD, with regard to treatment and reporting of persons who have been involved in a crime,” said Manalo.

Roxas, for his part, said they “will review if there are lapses or violations of procedure and/or protocols by some members of the Southern Police District."

Another matter discussed during the meeting was the actuation of the Forbeswood Heights condominium security guard on January 22, when the suspects brought Navarro out of the building, the report said.

“We have been assured by ranking officials of the DILG and the PNP that they will also coordinate and make sure that the security agency is in compliance with the laws and regulations regarding their industry,” Manalo said.

The actor's camp also wanted the firearm licenses of those involved in the mauling incident to be revoked. Navarro claimed one of the men who mauled him poked a gun at him.

“We have been assured that a thorough review of all their licenses will be made,” the lawyer said.

Roxas and Espina did not grant an interview after the meeting, but Manalo said the two promised they would look into Navarro's requests.

Asked on Navarro's condition, Roño said the actor is much better now, even though there is no specific date for his discharge from the hospital as he still needs to undergo a number of medical tests.

“May tendency lang na may lumalabas na dugo sa kanyang operasyon, so medyo pinag-iingat pa rin siya,” he said.

“He's under observation. Meron siyang bagong iniindang sakit dito sa gilid. So the doctor went yesterday to look at it also but we've been advised that he needs to have his parang internal (examination) sa head to thoroughly check it kasi there may be damage inside,” he added.

Manalo asked those involved in the incident to cooperate in the investigation.

“It is better to cooperate with the investigation so they won't have a hard time. All the agencies of the government, from DILG, PNP, NBI, DOJ, all assured us that they will conduct truthful, impartial and swift investigation on all issues regarding this matter,” he said.

Navarro earlier filed complaints of serious illegal detention, serious physical injury, grave threat, illegal arrest and coercion against Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, Zimmer Raz, and two others for allegedly mauling him on the night of January 22.

On the other hand, Cornejo accused Navarro of rape, which the latter denied.

In his sworn affidavit, Navarro said he first met Cornejo two years ago but had the chance to get in touch again with her two months ago.

He said they agreed to meet at her condominium unit in Taguig City on January 17, adding the two of them drank wine and made out.

“After consuming one bottle of white wine, [we] made out and it led to oral sex where Deniece Cornejo repeatedly inserted in her mouth the private part of the victim,” Navarro said in his affidavit submitted to the NBI.

When Navarro left the condo unit, Cornejo supposedly texted him about his being a "bad boy," and in reply he said "sorry talaga."

They agreed to meet again on January 22, when the mauling incident happened.

The Department of Justice issued a lookout bulletin order against Cornejo, Lee and three others allegedly involved in the mauling incident. Amita O. Legaspi /LBG/KBK, GMA News
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