Palanca: Assault accusations are ‘just a challenge’
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Victorias City Mayor Francis Frederick Palanca said the city stands behind “Tawag ng Tanghalan” winner Noven Belleza, who is being accused of sexual assault.
He called the accusations “just a challenge” in the singer’s life.
The mayor said he is skeptical of the allegations because of reports claiming the accuser was the one who visited Belleza’s Cebu City apartment.
Palanca expressed concerns the issue could negatively impact Belleza’s career.
Meanwhile, the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office has since downgraded Belleza’s rape charges to sexual assault, making it a bailable offense.
The court set bail at P120,000.
Also, Belleza’s lawyer Leilani Villarino waived their right to a preliminary investigation, which would have provided them a venue to refute the allegations./DGB, WDJ