27 January 2014

More Questions on the Ongoing Vhong Navarro Saga

Kabayan Noli de Castro, in last night’s edition of TV Patrol, verbalised a question that I had been carrying inside my head since an article courtesy of GMA News online broke over social media. The article, written in Tagalog, made public a blotter report about Vhong Navarro’s alleged attempted rape of the lady who everyone now knows to be a Deniece Cornejo.

Given the condition of Navarro – and his swollen, black and blue face has been splattered all over social media since Friday night – why did none of the cops who were on duty to receive the supposed citizens’ arrest interrogate the men who brought him in? Are cops so jaded these days that they do not find it in themselves to be inquisitive anymore?

Alright, so one of the receiving cops spoke to TV Patrol and publicly stated that he initially did not recognise Navarro because of his swollen face. Even then, would his curiosity not have been stimulated had it been one of the countless street urchins who are brought in for petty crimes every night?

To be fair, the two cops interviewed said that they tried to coax Navarro into giving his side of the story. “It’s his body,” he reasoned. In other words, what he was trying to say was that since it was Navarro’s body that was violated, it was entirely up to him to make a complaint or not.


Perhaps, at the end of the day, it can also be said that Navarro brought all of this upon himself. From all indications, it does not seem to be that Navarro knew Cornejo very well. The ‘Showtime’ host recently turned 37; but behaved in this incident like a pheromone-charged teenager going on what kids these days call an ‘eyeball.’
And, of course, that is as half-assed as logic can go! If a man’s face is black and blue, obviously somebody did that to him, whether he attempted to rape somebody or not. Whoever did that to him, to my mind, is liable whether the man files a complaint or not!

At any rate, TV Patrol also aired an interview with business man Cedric Lee, who Navarro named as the person behind his mauling last Wednesday night. I take no side but the truth’s while I watch fascinated as snippets of the story unfold in true soap opera fashion.

But I found two of Lee’s statements disturbing. First, he said that he took a picture of Navarro at the station to show that his face was not all that bad in case he ‘did something to himself’ to make things look worse than they really were.

Seriously? To be fair, I had seen that done in the movies. But again, seriously?

I used to be a football coach; and anybody in sport will tell you that injuries sustained during matches – swelling, in particular – worsen over time and are probably worst the day after. In other words, Lee was probably telling the truth about Navarro’s appearance at the station; but the swelling would have worsened particularly if ice was not immediately applied.

The second thing that disturbed me was Lee’s statement that they came out only after Navarro started the ball rolling by going public in his interview with Boy Abunda last Sunday in the afternoon talk show Buzz ng Bayan.

This was immediately challenged by Navarro’s counsel, who de Castro talked to by phone patch after the Lee interview aired. On the contrary, the counsel countered, Navarro went public only because the blotter story had already broken.

This is true. I think it was Saturday afternoon or evening when I first saw a Tagalog article carrying the blotter story courtesy of GMA News online. Sunday morning, I started writing an article questioning the holes in the attempted rape story; but went off for afternoon football.

I never got to finish the article. When I got home, social media was already abuzz with Navarro’s detailed narration of the mauling, thus answering many of the questions that I myself carried inside my mind. In other words, Navarro went public only because the blotter story was defamatory to his character.

Whether Lee had anything at all to do with the blotter story breaking, that none of us knows – as yet!

As to the alleged attempted rape, anybody who watches ‘Showtime’ knows that women – even beautiful women! – willingly throw themselves at Navarro live on air. Not that I even understand why. The surgery he underwent last night to correct his broken nose may even work to his advantage, if you know what I mean.

While Lee’s narration of having chanced upon Navarro with his shorts down assaulting Cornejo was feasible – if a tad convenient – the question always will be why had she invited him in? If Navarro’s statement that he does not have scratches apart from those inflicted by his assailants are true, then a rape charge will be hell to prove.

Of course, given that rape is a heinous crime, the most curious thing of all about this whole sorry business is why, after all the trouble she and her friends went to have the alleged attempted rape recorded in a police blotter, they would end the report by saying that they were not filing charges.

Perhaps, at the end of the day, it can also be said that Navarro brought all of these upon himself. From all indications, it does not seem to be that Navarro knew Cornejo very well. The ‘Showtime’ host recently turned 37; but behaved in this incident like a pheromone-charged teenager going on what kids these days call an ‘eyeball.’

At his age, he should have already learned that there are times when it is just best to keep it inside his pocket.

Acknowledgment: Top photo from ABS-CBN News.




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