Posted at 01/24/2014 7:22 PM | Updated as of 01/25/2014 2:33 AM
MANILA -- (UPDATED) "It's Showtime" co-host Vhong Navarro is currently recovering after he was allegedly tied up and attacked by a group of men inside a condominium unit in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig on Wednesday (Jan. 22), according to his manager.
In a statement given to ABS-CBN News on Friday, Navarro's manager, film director Chito Rono, said the comedian was invited by a female friend to visit her in her condominium unit.
Several men allegedly blindfolded Navarro and beat him up when he got in the premises of the condominium.
Rono said Navarro was also threatened and was a victim of extortion, adding they have yet to find out the reason behind the attack.
According to the film director, Navarro will temporarily not be seen on "It's Showtime," which airs weekdays and Saturdays, and on his other television projects, as he continues to recover.
Navarro was absent from the noontime program on Thursday and Friday.
Speaking with ABS-CBN News, Rono added Navarro may undergo an operation due to his injuries. He said Navarro is unable to detail the incident as he cannot speak properly.
The 37-year-old actor is known to have a non-showbiz girlfriend, and has two sons from his previous relationships.
Here is Rono's full statement:
"Si Vhong Navarro ay naimbitahan sa isang condominium unit sa Fort ng isang kaibigang babae. At sa di pa malamang kadahilanan, siya ay piniringan, pinagtulungang bugbugin, ginapos, tinakot, at hinihingan ng pera ng isang grupo ng kalalakihan noong January 22, Miyerkules.
"Si Vhong ay kasalukuyang nagpapagaling at mawawala ng pansamantala sa 'It's Showtime' at iba pa niyang proyekto."
January 29, 2014 2:18pm
(Updated 4:54 p.m.) The NBI on Wednesday showed CCTV footage that seems to support actor Vhong Navarro's version of events on the night of January 22, which left him hospitalized after being badly beaten.
Before the CCTV video was shown to the media, the sensational case had pitted Navarro's word against the claims of several others, including 22-year-old Deniece Cornejo who said Navarro had tried to rape her in her condo unit.
But the video clearly shows Cornejo entering her building's elevator and then exiting the building shortly after Navarro arrived. She did not appear like she had just survived a rape attempt, and casually examined herself in the elevator mirror.
Navarro was mauled by businessman Cedric Lee and his friends that night, after Lee said he found the actor on top of Cornejo. But the video appears to show that Navarro and Cornejo were not in the condo unit at the same time.
"Tugma ang CCTV footages sa testimony of Vhong Navarro," said NBI-NCR Assistant Regional Director Vicente De Guzman during the presentation.
The footage was provided by the Forbeswood Heights condominium in Bonifacio Global City, where the attack on Navarro took place last week.
"Noong pumasok si Vhong Navarro, after a few minutes, si Ms. Deniece Cornejo went out sa elevator," De Guzman said.
Based on the video footage, Navarro entered the lobby at 10:38 p.m. wearing a shirt, shorts and cap and carrying something in a paper bag. Two minutes later at 10:40 p.m., Cornejo appears in the same lobby, leaving the building alone.
The time stamp of a separate CCTV camera in the elevator showed Cornejo leaving the elevator just a minute after Navarro arrived. Inside the lift, she casually examines herself in the elevator’s reflective door.
At 10:41 p.m., three minutes after the actor entered the building, Lee entered the lobby and headed to the elevator. Minutes later, two other males entered the lobby. One of them has been identified as a certain Ferdinand Guerrero.
In the elevator footage, the NBI noted that there were two unidentified men inside the lift. They said that these men did not enter the building after the actor has arrived.
“Wala po sa video footage na pumasok ‘yung dalawa. Siguro they came in earlier. May dalawang lalaki doon sa room. Ibig sabihin, andun na sila,” De Guzman noted.
According to Navarro’s statement earlier, when Deniece left him inside the unit, two men, who came from Cornejo’s room, beat him up. One of them pointed a gun at his face.
With Cornejo still outside the building, Lee’s sister Bernice Lee entered the lobby at 10:56 p.m. and left with Cedric three minutes later. The two were having a conversation inside the lift, with Bernice gesturing with her hands as if counting.
At 11:01 p.m., Cornejo and the Lee siblings entered the building again and headed to the elevator to go back up to Cornejo's unit on the second floor.
Twelve minutes later, at 11:13 p.m., Navarro, the Lees, Cornejo and five other men were seen in the lobby leaving the building together. The footage shows Navarro being escorted out with his hands bound behind his back.
The NBI also clarified that Cornejo is not the owner of the condo unit. The owner has been identified as a certain Soledad Ramos, who was set to appear before the NBI today, Wednesday.
“A letter from Soledad Ramos allowed her [Cornejo] to stay in the unit,” De Guzman said.
Navarro, who is currently in the hospital recovering from surgery following his beating, was brought to the Southern Police District by Lee and his companions that night to file a blotter entry detailing an alleged rape attempt on Cornejo by Navarro.
The blotter entry detailed Navarro's supposed attack on Cornejo and bore both their signatures. In an interview with Butch Francisco on "Startalk", Navarro's lawyer Alma Mallonga denied the veracity of the account, saying the whole incident was an attempt at extortion.
"This horrible crime that was created against Vhong—he was a victim of detention, tinorture siya, he was blackmailed, he was being extorted—at itong ginawang krimen sa kanya, pinabalahaan siya na huwag siyang magsalita, huwag siyang magbigay ng kahit anong pahayag sa media at itago niya ang ginawang krimen sa kaniya, at ginamit nila itong paglagay sa police blotter ng isang hindi makatotohanang akusasyon," she said. -- Rouchelle R. Dinglasan/BM/KG/HS, GMA News