by Bernadine Racoma, originally posted at Philippine Online Chronicles/Blog Watch
To say that TV show host and comedian Vhong Navarro’s mauling incident has been a hot issue is a major understatement. It has taken over national TV like the Philippines would crash without the daily news updates about it.
The Bangsamoro peace deal was relegated to being a minor story as Vhong Navarro, Deniece Cornejo, and Cedric Lee dominated TV interviews and reports in daily primetime newscasts. The arrival of Google Street View also failed to attract the interest of many viewers. Likewise, nobody may have noticed that Candy Crush Saga maker King.com already claims ownership to the “candy” name when it comes to games, educational services, software, and clothing. Even the death of comedian Tado in a freak accident or the Bondoc bus crash itself will still probably fail to take away the dominating interest in the Vhong incident.
Are things making sense here?
Some may think the incident is just overhyped but there can be justifications over what has been happening. At least, unlike the Hayden Kho scandal, we can feel somewhat relieved that people are not showing interest because it’s a scandal involving a sexual act although there are tinges of it. Well, as some would joke: at least it’s not a Wally Bayola sex video issue (highlighting the rivalry between “Eat Bulaga” and “It’s Showtime”).
Hitting at Least 4 Birds with One Big Stone
Many will feel that the involvement of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and DILG Secretary Mar Roxas in the incident is an overkill. It’s a blatant special treatment. Other mauling victims would never get this kind of reaction from the government. However, despite what many would view as an excessive attention for Navarro, we can take comfort on the thought that the case is more than just a simple mauling of a celebrity under a station associated with the Aquinos, which employs the youngest presidential sister who is a very close friend of a popular comedian, Vice Ganda, who happens to be close to Vhong Navarro being one of the co-hosts of Navarro on “It’s Showtime.” Vice Ganda has been heard in a number of instances joking about borrowing Kris Aquino’s PSG detail.
Well, we’re not keen on linking Kris Aquino to the “enthusiastic” reaction of the government to Navarro’s predicament. The well-publicized involvement of a number of government officials in the case could be just a simple matter of being epal. Nevertheless, there are benefits in all these “excesses.” The attention Cedric Lee is getting is good for at least four reasons:
“Justice” for Vina Morales and other women abused who experienced less than desirable treatment from Cedric Lee. Actress Vina Morales posted this implicative message on Instagram: “No need for revenge. Just sit back & wait. Those who hurt you will eventually screw up themselves & if you’re lucky, God will let you watch.” Morales was once in a relationship with Lee and even had a child with the mauling suspect. There have been rumors that she was physically abused as she once expressed being a member of “9262 Club,” a made up group for those who have suffered from violations of R.A. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. Another actress, Patricia Javier, also spoke of her unpleasant experience of being in a relationship with Cedric Lee. Also a mauling victim of Lee, David Bunevacz, is probably pleased with how things are turning out for Cedric Lee.
Uncovering Cedric Lee’s curious businesses.This businessman, as Senator JV Estrada pointed out, has a character problem. His ties with Tyrone Ong, a business partner detained for malversation charges, makes his character even shadier. Cedric Lee has come to public knowledge for all the wrong reasons. It’s not a bad thing to dig deeper since there’s something very suspicious about the businessman. The BIR’s intention to look into Lee’s tax compliance is a good start.
Inquiring into Cedric Lee’s Chinese mafia links. With his penchant for brutality, it won’t be a surprise to know how Cedric Lee is associated with criminal groups. Hopefully, something can be done about this to prevent him from inflicting more harm to other people. We also hope that Senator Estrada stands by his accusation against Lee. It’s not enough to say it. It wouldn’t hurt for the troubled senator to do something to deal with the Chinese mafia’s presence in the Philippines. That would at least make up for the beating he’s been getting on the PDAF scandal.
Exposing Cedric Lee’s links with government officials. Cedric Lee is a business partner of the infamous Euro generals and of other high-ranking PNP officials. How’s that for the label “suspicious”? He is also said to have links to the NBI. Someone of this “caliber” definitely deserves a good scrutiny. Thanks to his apparently indiscriminate decision to brutally attack a TV host, he’s just started to blow his own cover.
To be continued in Part 2
Screencap from Youtube. Some rights reserved.