Vhong Navarro or Deniece Cornejo: Who is the real ‘victim’?

Journalist and TV personality Ramon Tulfo started it. His award winning show Isumbong mo kay Tulfo (“Report it to Tulfo”) encouraged Filipinos to approach the media first before the police. In the Philippines, the common sentiment is that the police may itself be a party to the crime, so get the media involved as well just in case. So started a a strong Filipino tradition of trial-by-media and “investigative journalism”.

Nagsumbong kay Abunda: Vhong Navarro

Nagsumbong kay Abunda: Vhong Navarro

The most recent instance of this bizarre tradition of media being in the forefront of a criminal investigation is the Vhong Navarro case. Media have it easy. Every cop and his dog involved in the case seem to be willing to go on record with their personal version of the story — on condition that they remain anonymous. Snippets of information revealed by anonymous police officers such as this are typical as the case makes waves…

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The police officer who recorded the entry told the Inquirer that when Navarro was brought to the station, he already had bruises on his face and his hands were also tied with a tape. The blotter, however, did not give a clear account of how the actor sustained those bruises.

“He (Navarro) was saying sorry to the girl at the station,” the officer who refused to be identified said.

Considering the meagre salary of the average Filipino police officer, it is not surprising that reporters with sufficient budget to buy scoops from snitches and cops frequently get their story.

Indeed, in this case, the police were bypassed altogether as Navarro’s personal account of the incident was revealed in detail in a “tell-all” interview with TV celeb Boy Abunda on his show Buzz ng Bayan last Sunday. Navarro’s story can be easily summarised thus far: I am the victim.

'If there is a victim here, that’s me' - Deniece Cornejo

‘If there is a victim here, that’s me’ – Deniece Cornejo

But then, presumed “victim” and “model/actress” Deniece Cornejo had her turn on the mike over Inquirer Radio 990AM on Monday where she revealed that Navarro “started it all” and appealed to the public to understand this: “If there is a victim here, that’s me…

Strangely enough, no complaints have been filed by either “victims” with the police so far — not by Navarro nor by Cornejo.

“We need a complainant. Even if we file a case, it will not prosper in the court without a complainant. We are very willing to assist them,” [Senior Supt. Roberto Fajardo, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR)] said.

Deputy Director General Felipe Rojas, PNP deputy chief for administration, said the Taguig police office has started its probe into the case to determine if the policemen who wrote the blotter report failed to comply with the police operational procedure.

“If there’s evidence that they violated police procedures, we will initiate appropriate actions against them,” Rojas said.

Asked about the PNP’s procedures in receiving complaint against arrested individuals, he said the policemen who saw Navarro’s condition should have brought him to the hospital after they received the complaint.

Interestingly, a third character in this sordid chain of events, Cedric Lee (who allegedly led the mauling of Navarro) has quite an interesting rap sheet

We thought you should know that Cedric was also among the five people summoned by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for the alleged beatdown and robbery of businessman David Bunevacz back in ’07. His name also came up after Katrina Halili and Hayden Kho’s sex video surfaced online in ’09. However, none of these allegations were proven.

With a guy as slippery as Cedric Lee involved, it is likely that the truth surrounding this case will never surface much less make it into police records.

Should the police remain involved even with no complaints so far filed? None of the parties claiming to be “victims” in this affair seem inclined to do so, for that matter. Indeed, in the overall scheme of things, with a humanitarian disaster unfolding in the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, a vast pork barrel thievery scandal rocking the very foundations of Philippine politics, and a staring match happening between the Philippines and China, “victims” of a shady “crime” who prefer face time on TV rather than work with the police to resolve their issues are really not that important.

But this is the Philippines, where the show must go on. A distracted mind is a happy mind. So, as we are always encouraged to do: Abangan ang susunod na kabanata.

14 Replies to “Vhong Navarro or Deniece Cornejo: Who is the real ‘victim’?”

  1. There is something really fishy here, especially about the woman’s picture with Rod Cornejo and Atty. “Gozum” of GMA Network. If she’s not related as per the network’s statement then why does this woman have a picture with the TOP EXECUTIVES of a TV network? And why did she refer to these guys as his “lolo’s”? Who is she anyway? What makes her “belong” in this picture? Why would she release this all of a sudden? Is it just because she wants to make GMA look partial to her? I believe she’s not that shallow!

    These observations together with her alleged Facebook profile full of grammatical errors, plus her misspelling of “Gozon”, which makes you question the legitimacy of her being an apo of a media corporate elite, her “badboy ka” text to Vhong and the involvement of that certain Cedric (and the nature of their affiliation, including the Bunevacz case) draws me to a shaky conclusion that is so bothering that I wouldn’t even dare to write it here, nor say it in public except for two words: INDUSTRY, SYNDICATE?

    1. I agree with you. She happens to be beautiful and on top of her mind is for her to make fast rich scheme. She’s 22 years old. Whether she likes it or not Her parents should be there too. She is a troubled child. It’s about time that Deneice & Cedric Lee should be put in place. This is not the first incident. It’s similar to David Bunevacz as well. This time Cedric Lee & his partners should be responsible for their evil deeds.

  2. The so called upgrade and modernization of the PNP that tax payers paid so dearly for; hasn’t exactly born fruit. The revelations of a secret torture facility in Laguna for drug dealers makes it seem as if police and criminals are flip sides of the same coin.

    The practice of bringing unconvicted, shackled criminals out of their cells so that the family of the victim can whale away at the prisoner is barbaric to say the least.

    They obviously feel they are above the law and they can act with impunity.

    1. In the Philippines, it’s more likely that this facility exists because the majority of our people feel insecure. They feel that there is an (elite) segment of society that behaves with impunity without fear of consequence or reprisal at our expense. Furthermore it is a generally held belief that even if they are caught by the police, they are able to manipulate the system to delay their punishment indefinitely or to manoeuvre themselves out of it.

      Victims will see the Laguna facility as a means of retribution. A way of exacting “justice” that may otherwise never be realised. And why not? Ramon Tulfo has convinced them the system doesn’t work and that he suggests the answer is to circumvent the normal channels. Now, it seems the police, by offering this alternative, agree with that position.

    1. Ur ryt, each of them were being paid for 5Million by a rich person who is very popular. Clue… Game Ka na Ba?

  3. I will never prejudge the case. However, it is a horrible case; of which Police Officers may be involved in the kidnap for extortion gang.
    They put a bait in the form of a pretty woman named Cornejo. Navarro, being a hot blooded male, took the bait; hook , line and sinker. And this was the result. Please refrain from :”trial by publicity”…
    The authorities must dig deeper on this the case; because the Chinese Triad, a form of Chinese Mafia , may have a hand on this crime..

  4. Evidence will lead us to the truth. The police blotter, CCTV and the statements of the two sides pa lang we can draw conclusion na.

    1. Yes — that the police did not do a thorough investigation.They relied instead on the statements made by both parties.

  5. zen says:
    February 3, 2014 at 10:58 am
    There is no way that this case will end up good, it will be like a Hell/injustice case as always, why, bec. This group of men of cedric is connected to some of our corrupt/powerful gov’t officials who stolen billions of money to Phil gov’t …These group of men admitted that they almost killed Vhong but, are they arrested? “NO” sorry if you are poor/ordinary person and have no corrupt connections to this country your case is always denied. Do like to become rich/powerful….. Connect to Abnoy Administration. I am hoping that Sec. De Lima will save the ruin reputation this corrupt country..not only on this case but more high profils cases…..

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