On Friday, 2 September 2022, the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office charged television host and comedian Vhong Navarro with rape for allegedly sexually abusing model Deniece Cornejo on 17 January 2014 at his Taguig condo unit.
Prior to this, the Court of Appeals had upheld Cornejo’s petition questioning the dismissal of the rape case against Navarro by the Department of Justice. The DOJ had cited supposed inconsistencies in her submitted statements and affidavits in junking Cornejo’s rape complaint.
The CA, however, said Navarro should defend himself in court and that “it was erroneous for the DOJ to deny Cornejo’s petition for review on the ground that her statements in the complaint-affidavits are inconsistent and incredible.”
Added the CA: “Issues of credibility should be adjudged during the trial proper.” It is the trial court, it said, that has “the unique power and position to observe the witnesses’ deportment, manner of testifying, emphasis, gesture, and inflection of the voice, all of which are potent aids in ascertaining the witness’ credibility.”
The CA ordered the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office “to file Information against Ferdinand ‘Vhong’ H. Navarro for: (1) Rape by Sexual Intercourse under Article 266-A (1) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act No. 8353; and (2) Acts of Lasciviousness under Article 336 of the Revised Penal Code.”
In an interview on ANC Friday, Navarro’s lawyer Alma Mallonga said they were “very surprised” by the CA resolution and insisted that the allegation had been dismissed multiple times.
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