On “TV Patrol,” Vhong’s lawyer Atty. Alma Mallonga reacted to the statements given by Cedric Lee and Deniece Cornejo, the alleged suspects to the mauling of actor-host Vhong Navarro on the night of January 22.
In their statement, Lee reiterated that they saved Deniece from the hands of Vhong, who wanted to rape her that night and only beat him up because he was struggling and fighting back when they wanted to bring him to the precinct. They also said that it was Vhong who begged them not to publicize everything and that Deniece only pitied him that’s why she did what he asked.
Deniece also said that “kung meron mang inosente at biktima dito wala ng iba kundi ako.”
Attorney Mallonga dismissed Lee and Cornejo’c claims as, “it’s so easy to say these things but in the end it’s the evidence… Meron tayong mga medico legal report, there is going to be a CCTV on this, there are text messages…”
She also commented on what she thinks are inconsistencies to Lee’s story. One would be the blotter wherein after they told their version of what happened, “nakalagay sa huli na hindi sila magsasampa ng kaso.” She also asked why they brought Vhong to a precinct far from where the incident happened.
Atty. Mallonga also reacted strongly when Lee said that they wanted to keep things under wraps but they decided to come out after Vhong aired his side of the story on “Buzz ng Bayan” on Sunday, January 26 and “kami pa ang pinasama niya.”
Mallonga said that, “the priority of those close to him was Vhong’s recovery. Unfortunately, according to her, a publication came out against Vhong that’s why “we encouraged Vhong to speak his truth.”
Mallonga also found it ludicrous that Lee would think that Vhong could have inflicted more damage to himself so that he’d appear more beaten up in public. “Maniwala ka na ‘yung sinabi nila na hindi ganun ka-grabe yung mukha niya, sinong mag-i-inflict noon?”
And on Lee’s claim that talk about money only came up because of the damages done to Deniece’ condo unit, Mallonga said it was them who beat up Vhong thus it was them who did damage to the apartment. She also thinks one million is too much for a busted television set.
She also made it clear that Vhong did not negotiate with Lee regarding money. “The condition of Vhong is such that ano bang mas believable? Is he in a position to say no, to negotiate? Nakita niyo ang kanyang itsura e.”
Lee and Cornejo are going to file cases of Libel and Attempted Rape against Vhong and Mallonga can only say bring it on. “Just do it cause we’re also prepared to stand by the truth. We have documented everything. Magpa-file kami ng kaso and it will be very soon. Mabuti siguro magka-alaman na because we are fairly confident on the basis of the evidence and just the consistency and the believability of the story.”
Atty. Mallonga believes, after all, that Vhong may “not be a saint but he is not a criminal” and he deserves justice.