Vhong Navarro Assault: Based on a Movie?

Sunday, January 26, 2014 Stef dela Cruz, MD 3 Comments

When photos of Vhong Navarro and his bashed-in face first went viral a couple of days ago, I wasn’t interested. But after I read about why he got beat up (he allegedly raped a girl and got beat up by the girl’s friends), I started to pay attention. That’s because a theory started to form in my head.

Vhong Navarro on attempted rapeIs the assault on Vhong Navarro based on a movie’s plot?
(photo: Vhong Navarro interviewed in Buzz ng Bayan)

I am in no position to judge. I do not know Vhong Navarro. I see him on TV, but that’s about it. And even if I did know him, I still wouldn’t have been in any position to act as judge and juror.

But you see, the reason I’m blogging about Vhong Navarro and the alleged rape right now is because the whole story seemed too familiar. I am not in a position to judge. But as someone who writes for a living, I can’t help but speculate.

Now, let me share with you the details of the movie I’m referring to.

Vhong Navarro: “Derailed” in the Philippines?

A few weeks ago, I watched a movie on cable TV. It was entitled Derailed, starring Jennifer Aniston and Clive Owen.

In the movie, Clive Owen played the role of Charles, a husband who met a married woman (Lucinda, played by Jennifer Aniston) on the train. Eventually, they wanted to have an affair, so they got a room at a motel.

Now, pay attention to the next details of the plot.

DerailedLucinda and Charles deal with rape, extortion, and blackmail after almost having an affair. (screenshot of the movie Derailed, from nitrovideo.com)

Just when things were about to get interesting, a man breaks into the room and rapes Lucinda. Charles wanted to report the incident to the police, but Lucinda said it would ruin her relationship with her husband.

Eventually, the man who raped Lucinda started harassing Charles. He would call Charles, asking for money. He blackmailed Charles into paying up $10,000 after he threatened to tell Charles’ wife that he almost had an affair.

A month later, the man asked for $100,000. Charles felt cornered. He had to see Lucinda.

But when he followed Lucinda, he was surprised to see her kissing the man who raped her that night at the motel. Lucinda was in cahoots with her alleged rapist, after all!

Vhong Navarro, Attempted Rape: Life Imitating Art?

I couldn’t help but speculate, but what if the movie above is very much similar to Vhong Navarro’s story? Here are a few of the circumstances parallel to the movie’s plot:

  • The elements common to both the Vhong Navarro controversy and the movie Derailed are rape, extortion, and blackmail. Oh, there’s also the getting-beat-up-so-bad part.
  • According the security personnel of the condo unit where Vhong was beat up, the girl actually informed the guard on duty to allow Vhong (and the other men who beat him up later) into her room. (In Derailed, the girl who was raped was in on it, too.)
  • There is a delay in attempting to seek justice. (In the movie, Charles couldn’t tell the police what happened because his wife and Lucinda’s husband will find out that they tried to have an affair.)

Now, this is where all speculation ends. All these parallelisms are based solely on the fact that Vhong’s predicament is similar to Charles’ in the movie. In no way is the above information to be used to either corroborate or disprove any statement related to Vhong’s case. All this is just such an amazing coincidence (if that’s what it is).

Was the assault on Vhong, the extortion, and the blackmail inspired by a movie? We can only speculate.

There is enough judgment going around, whether it’s against or for Vhong. I’m not too happy with how conclusions are being drawn. For instance, “He’s so famous he doesn’t need to rape” is one misconception about rape that makes me grit my teeth.

So, whatever the truth is, let’s hope it comes out. If you want to speculate, that’s your call. But whatever judgment we all pass is not valid. We can only guess what really happened. Too bad it’s not one of those cases where I can say, “It happens only in the movies.”

Stef dela CruzAbout the blogger
Stef dela Cruz is a doctor and writer. She received the 2013 Award for Health Media from the Department of Health. She maintains a health column in Health.Care Magazine and contributes to The Manila Bulletin. Add her to your circles.


  1. For someone who "writes for a living" its HIS wife not HER wife..just sayin'

  2. Thank you, Painting Faces, for the reminder! Error corrected. It's nice when fellow bloggers step up to help others.

  3. Nice post! I saw the movie.. it's only now that I was reminded with the plot.. kuhang-kuhan nila Deniece and Cedric...hahaha