Vhong raring for battle
Mallonga: Vhong is the victim. When he filed the (grave coercion) case, Cornejo suddenly said that she was raped. This is not true.
Detained television host Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro is sporting to slug it out in court to prove his innocence in the rape and acts of lasciviousness cases filed against him by model Deniece Cornejo.
Navarro’s lawyer Alma Mallonga told reporters Tuesday that they will petition the Taguig City Regional Trial Court to grant him bail in the non-bailable rape case for which a warrant of arrest was issued against him on Monday.
On 15 September, the Taguig City Metropolitan Trial Court also issued an arrest warrant against Navarro for the acts of lasciviousness case, with bail for his temporary liberty set at P36,000.
The TV personality surrendered Monday to the National Bureau of Investigation which kept him at its Taft Avenue, Manila headquarters pending his transfer based on a commitment order from the court.
“He voluntarily surrendered for the rape case and is now detained. Under the law, he will continue to be detained until bail is granted to him,” Mallonga said.
“We are so ready, we are eager to get on with this. Let’s confront it, let’s fight,” she added.
The two cases against Navarro were filed by the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office after the Court of Appeals last July overturned two decisions of the Department of Justice that dismissed the complaints filed by Cornejo against Navarro.
The CA ruled that the courts should be allowed, through full-blown trials, to determine who between Cornejo and Navarro was telling the truth.
The overturned DoJ decisions cited alleged inconsistencies in Cornejo’s statements to investigators and prosecutors and a lack of probable cause.
The sexual assault allegedly happened on 17 and 22 of January 2014 at the condominium unit of Cornejo.
Navarro’s camp has maintained through the years that the actor was a victim of extortion by the group of Cornejo, businessman Cedric Lee and Jed Fernandez.
Cornejo, Lee, and Fernandez were found guilty in 2018 by the Taguig City of the grave coercion complaint filed against them by Navarro, handing them a jail term from six months to three years and six months.
Navarro filed the case to show that he was coerced by the group to admit in a police blotter that he raped Cornejo. He also filed a complaint for illegal detention against the same personalities.
“That was the basis why there were serious illegal detention and grave coercion charges against Ms. Cornejo and Mr. Cedric Lee and others. Vhong is the victim. When he filed the case, Cornejo suddenly said that she was raped. This is not true,” Mallonga said on Monday.
The TV host’s camp, as well as the prosecutors in the grave coercion case won by Navarro, has used as evidence a closed-circuit television camera footage showing that on 24 January 2014, Cornejo entered an elevator at her condo one minute after Navarro arrived.
It was the same day when Navarro was beaten up inside Cornejo’s condo by Lee and company. Mallonga said the footage showed Cornejo was not raped contrary to her claim.
Navarro has been saying that his only crime had been to cheat on his partner, alluding to a consensual relationship between him and Cornejo.
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