Ferdinand Hipolito Navarro (born January 4, 1977), better known as Vhong Navarro, is a Filipino actor, dancer, singer and host at ABS-CBN. He is part of the dance group Streetboys in the Philippines.
As part of the dance group Streetboys, Navarro was discovered by director Chito S. Roño who continues to manage him. Among the products he has endorsed were Sprite, Pop-Cola, RRJ, Lucky Me, Selecta Ice Cream and Blu Tab.
He appears frequently on the Sunday variety show ASAP and in It's Showtime as a host.
On January 22, 2014, Navarro was attacked and severely beaten by a group of men inside a condominium unit in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, according to his manager, Chito Rono. Rono said Navarro was invited by a female friend named Deniece Cornejo to visit her in her condominium unit, where he was tied up and blindfolded by several men, threatened and then beaten up. The perpetrator was identified as Cedric Lee, who was also accompanied by several other men during the time of the incident. Following this, it was stated that Navarro would temporarily not be appearing on It's Showtime and other television projects while he continues to recover.
Navarro was accused of alleged attempted rape which he denied. In an interview with TV host Boy Abunda on Buzz ng Bayan, Navarro said he was apparently set up and the people who beat him up were asking for up to P2 million. On January 29, 2014, one week after the incident, Cornejo filed a rape case against Navarro. But the National Bureau of Investigation said it was unlikely that there was an attempted rape on Cornejo, based on the CCTV footage.
The controversial incident has raised concerns over rape culture and victim blaming, particularly surrounding the negative treatment of Cornejo, the supposed rape victim. Navarro's mauling has earned him sympathy from the public, whereas Cornejo has suffered the brunt of the public's ire. The public quickly dismissed the fact that Navarro willingly cheated on his girlfriend, Tanya Winona, with the unsuspecting Cornejo. Moreover, the public responded to Navarro's mauling by sending Cornejo death threats, and even more rape threats. In an article posted on GMA News Online, Carljoe Javier expressed consternation with the treatment of the alleged rape of Cornejo:
"I understand that there are certain aspects of this case which raise possible opportunities for discussion. The most important point for discussion would be the way that we are now discussing rape. It's disgusting how certain people have taken this as an opportunity to attempt to discredit rape victims as people who are just crying wolf. Many women are victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse and we must acknowledge this and attempt to prevent these terrible acts from happening. This is a truth regardless of the veracity of the claims of Deniece Cornejo."
When asked to explain her situation, Cornejo reported to the Inquirer and stated, "Victim blaming is a very common practice throughout the world especially for rape victims".
On February 19, 2014, another rape case was filed against Navarro, by a woman named Roxanne Cabanero. Cabanero's lawyer, Virgilio Batalla, maintains that the alleged rape took place in 2010. Netizens were quick to denounce the new case, and voiced their doubt regarding the genuineness of the claim on social media.
On March 8, 2014, Navarro made a return to It's Showtime.
On April 10, 2014, DOJ dismissed the rape complaint filed by Deniece Cornejo against Navarro. A week later, DOJ issued a warrant of arrest against Cornejo and Lee. On April 26, Lee and his accomplice were captured and arrested in Oras, Eastern Samar. On May 5, Cornejo surrendered to Camp Crame.