Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee speak up on Vhong Navarro mauling incident

27 January 2014

[caption id="attachment_85537" align="aligncenter" width="683"] Cedric Lee and Deniece Cornejo (screengrab from ABS-CBN News)[/caption]

Deniece Millet Cornejo claims innocence over the mauling of “It’s Showtime” host Vhong Navarro in a condominium in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig on Jan. 22.

Cornejo was the 22-year-old woman who reportedly filed “attempted rape” charges against the actor-TV host. The accusation was said to be the reason behind the attack.

“Kung may biktima at inosente dito, wala nang iba kundi ako...,” read Cornejo’s text message aired on GMA News’ “Balitanghali.”

It added, “You want justice, I’ll give you the real justice. In the field of women’s rights, the right will always be right. Mataas ang paghanga ko sa mga lalaki na arunong rumespeto at ipagtanggol ang mga kababaihan...”

A police blotter of the incident, filed supposedly at the Investigation and Detective Management Division of the Southern Police District on the same day of the attack, stated that the comedian (real name Ferdinand Navarro) tried to “rape” Cornejo, forcing her on a bed and pulling down her short pants.

Vhong denied the accusation in an interview with “Buzz ng Bayan” on Sunday, saying, “Hindi ako rapist.”

He also said that Cornejo is an old friend.

After Navarro identified Cornejo, some of her pictures spread on social networking sites. Based on one of her older posts, netizens pointed out her supposed familial relation to GMA-7 Chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon, whom she had referred to as “lolo;" a connection denied through a statement posted on GMA News Facebook.

Meanwhile, in a report on ABS-CBN News, Cedric Lee, named by Navarro as among his alleged assailants, admitted his participation in the incident but maintained that he only did so to prevent the supposed molestation of Cornejo.

He alleged that he caught Navarro in bed with Cornejo, who was then shouting and fighting the actor off.

“Ang instinct ko, I grabbed him from the back at hinila ko pababa ng kama. Si Deniece ay tumakbo sa sister ko at inilabas na siya sa condo unit. Naiwan dun sa condo, ako at ‘yung lalaki na di ko pa kilala ay si Vhong,” he recounted.

He claimed that Navarro refused to be brought to a police precinct, and as such, “Napilitan namin siyang suntukin at naupakan namin siya. Nagkabasag-basag ang mukha niya.”