Vhong Navarro allowed to post bail

Actor Vhong Navarro during his transfer from the NBI detention center to the Taguig City Jail.  (Photo courtesy of NBI)
Actor Vhong Navarro during his transfer from the NBI detention center to the Taguig City Jail. (Photo courtesy of NBI)

The Taguig City Regional Trial Court has allowed television host Ferdinand "Vhong" H. Navarro to post P1 million bail for the rape case filed by model Deniece Cornejo.

Presiding Judge Loralie Cruz Datahan of Taguig RTC Branch 69, in a 5 December order, stated: "After a thorough scrutiny of the documentary and testimonial evidence presented in this petition for bail, the Court finds that the prosecution fell short in establishing that the guilt of the accused is strong."

Datahan in her order cited the inconsistencies of the three affidavits issued by Cornejo on 29 Jan. 2014, 27 Feb. 2014, and 16 Oct. 2015.

"In all of these affidavits, the complainant gave different versions of the incident," the judge said.

Datahan said the first two affidavits did not mention the rape that happened on 17 January 2014, and the incident was mentioned only in the third affidavit.

The prosecution "failed to adequately explain why the complainant was scared to report the first incident (17 January 2014) but not scared to report the second one (22 January 2014), when both supposedly involved rape by the accused," Datahan said.

"Likewise, while complainant positively claims to have been drugged by accused, she would also testify that she was not sure," the judge also pointed out.

She also pointed out that Cornejo admitted in court that she "did not find anything wrong in preening at herself and giggling, after supposedly having been raped" as shown in CCTV footage of the condominium building where she lived.

The judge added that Cornejo even said in court that she sent text messages to Navarro after supposedly getting raped.

"The foregoing statements of the complainant are, to the mind of this Court, inconsistent with her claim of trauma, and outside reasonable expectations for someone who just underwent a painful ordeal," Datahan said.

Cornejo also confirmed that Navarro had no weapon with him at that time, and that she had not been threatened or intimidated by the former, nor was she beaten up by the accused, according to the judge.

Both the prosecutor's office and the Department of Justice junked the charges against Navarro. But the Court of Appeals ordered the filing of criminal charges against Navarro, leading to his incarceration first with the NBI when he surrendered, and then at the Taguig City Jail.

Once the P1 million bail is posted and required documents are processed, Navarro can be set free.


Daily Tribune