Former pageant contestant Roxanne Acosta Cabanero. ABS-CBN News
MANILA - Organizers of Miss Bikini Philippines on Thursday clarified the pageant's ties with former contestant Roxanne Acosta Cabanero, who mentioned her stint in the 2010 competition in her rape complaint against actor Vhong Navarro.
In a statement given to ABS-CBN News, the pageant's legal counsel, Atty. Joanne Babon, said it "has no knowledge whatsoever about the
rape incident that allegedly transpired between [Cabanero and Navarro]."
Babon confirmed, however, that Cabanero was one of the candidates of Miss Bikini Philippines in 2010, and that she, along with fellow contestants, made a guest appearance on the noontime program "It's Showtime" on April 24, 2010.
This is the same date specified in Cabanero's complaint when the alleged sexual assault took place, supposedly between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. the next day.
In her sworn statement, Cabanero alleged that she was approached by a female staff member of "It's Showtime" to ask for her number supposedly on behalf of Navarro.
Cabanero said they exchanged text messages to arrange their meeting and was allegedly fetched by Navarro from Astoria Hotel in Pasig, where she claimed to have been staying as a contestant in Miss Bikini Philippines.
She said Navarro drove and parked his car under a tree, where he supposedly sexually assaulted her.
Pageant organizers, however, denied on Thursday that its 2010 competition had contestants billeted at Astoria Hotel.
The statement from Babon added that Miss Bikini Philippines "was nowhere near the perimeters of said area on such date."
In an interview on "Buzz ng Bayan" aired last Sunday, Astoria Plaza project director Ric Valenzuela also denied it housed pageant contestants in April 2010.
He said that while the Miss Bikini Philippines event was offered to them, it did not push through.
On the subject of Cabanero and Navarro's supposed communication after the pageant's "It's Showtime" visit, Miss Bikini Philippines said it "has no knowledge and is in no position" to confirm whether the two indeed first got acquainted on that day.
Meanwhile, Cabanero's legal counsel, Atty. Virgilio Batalla, on Wednesday denied that his client's complaint specified the date the alleged sexual assault took place, following the testimony of comedian Vice Ganda contradicting their claim.
Vice Ganda, in his sworn statement to be included as evidence in Navarro's counter-affidavit, said the actor was among the guest performers at his concert held at Island Cove resort in Cavite, on the same night Cabanero alleged she was raped.
The management of Island Cove, in a separate interview, confirmed that Navarro was at the resort on the night of April 24, 2010.
The first preliminary investigation into Cabanero's rape complaint is scheduled on March 13.
Navarro's lawyer, Atty. Alma Mallonga, on Thursday said their camp will file cases of perjury and libel against Cabanero on the same date, in relation to her claims of sexual assault against the actor.