Showbiz industry members support Vhong's 'plea for justice'
MANILA, Philippines – As the controversy thickens and conflicting sides emerge, various sectors of the Philippine entertainment industry have expressed support for actor Vhong Navarro's "plea for justice." Navarro sustained severe injuries after an alleged mauling incident last January 22.
"The undersigned leaders and officers representing the various sector of the Philippine entertainment industry unilaterally regret and denounce the brutal attack against our colleague, Mr. Navarro, we likewise express full support in his plea for justice," read the statement, aired on ABS-CBN talk show Buzz ng Bayan on Sunday, February 2.
They urged the government to put an end to the "thriving culture of violence and impunity and diminishing sense of humanity in our country."
"No one has any right to inflict torture on anyone regardless of his economic or social standing in the society," read the statement. "Let the law prevail. Let the court decide."
The statement was signed by organization leaders, who are at the same time, well-known personalities, such as actress Boots Anson Roa, president of the Movie Workers Welfare Foundation, actor Leo Martinez, Director General of the Film Academy of the Philippines, and director Joel Lamangan, President of the Directors Guild of the Philippines.
Other orgaizations that have expressed their support are the Katipunan ng mga Artista ng Pelikulang Pilipino at Telebisyon, the Motion Picture Producers of the Philippines, the National Cinema Association of the Philippines, the Anti-Film Piracy Council, Professional Artists Managers, and the Movie Producers Distributors Association of the Philippines.
After the alleged attack on January 22, the actor/TV host has undergone reconstructive surgery for his injuries, and is currently in the process of recovery, his lawyer Dennis Manalo told GMA 7 talk show Startalk on February 2.
The parties involved in the case have aired out conflicting versions of the story. A police blotter and statements filed by model Deniece Cornejo and businessman Cebric Lee narrate how Navarro was beat up after allegedly attempting to rape Cornejo, while a statement by Navarro detailed how he was threatened and mauled by Cornejo's camp in their attempt to extort money from him.
The case is now in the hands of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), who earlier charged Cornejo, Lee, and 6 other individuals with serious illegal detention, serious physical injuries, grave threats, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, and threatening to publish and offer to prevent such publication for a compensation.
According to the NBI, CCTV footage from the condominium where the nincident happened appear to support Navarro's version. Despite this, Cornejo once more aired her conviction to her story in an interview with Startalk on Sunday. In addition, The Philippine Star reported that the 22-year-old filed a rape case against Navarro a few days ago. – Rappler.com