MANILA – The lawyer of actor Vhong Navarro lambasted the camp of Roxanne Cabanero for saying that there was no mention of an exact date of the alleged rape in Cabanero's complaint-affidavit.
In an interview with "Buzz ng Bayan" aired on Sunday, Atty. Alma Mallonga believes that the camp of Cabanero is now trying to adjust after new evidence came out.
The complaint-affidavit, which was signed by Cabanero and Assistant City Prosecutor Richard Parras, specified that the alleged rape happened on "April 24, 2010, 11-pm to 1:AM" in "Pasig City, near Astoria Hotel."
However, Cabanero's legal counsel, Atty. Virgilio Batalla earlier denied that his client's complaint-affidavit mentioned the date the alleged sexual assault took place.
This was Batalla's reaction to Vice Ganda's testimony that Navarro was among the guest performers at his concert held at Island Cove resort in Cavite, on April 24, 2010.
He said the alleged rape incident happened anytime from April 24 to 27 in 2010.
Mallonga said she doesn't buy Batalla's statement because she read and understood clearly everything in Cabanero's affidavit.
"Tingin ko, napako sila. May lumabas na mga ebidensya. Ngayon, nag-aadjust sila. Pero huwag mo sasabihin na 'yung reklamo nila, puwedeng anytime from April 24 to 27. Hindi 'yun totoo. Hindi kami bulag. Nabasa ko, hindi ako tanga, naintindihan ko ang nakalagay doon," she said.
Mallonga added that Cabanero seemed so sure of the date and time of the alleged rape incident when she came out to the media.
For the lawyer, the seemingly sudden change of statements just makes it clearer for her that Cabanero's camp is lying.
"Hindi ito biro. Nanumpa ka, napaka-espesifico mo sa oras, panahon at lugar. Ano 'to lokohan?" she said. "Lumabas ka sa media, nag-iiyak ka, siniraan mo si Vhong, tapos ngayon 'ay sorry, nakalimutan ko, hindi iba pala, mali ang nasabi ko,'"
Because of this, Navarro's camp is set to file libel and perjury raps against Cabanero.
'Give Roxanne the benefit of the doubt'
Meanwhile, asked about her expert opinion, lawyer Lorna Kapunan said that, as far as her understanding is concerned, an exact date of the alleged rape is mentioned on Cabanero's affidavit.
"The rape [based on the complaint] happened during the incident inside the car. In the afternoon of the same date e. Afternoon 'yun, ang date ay April 24. So afternoon, 'yung [message sa]cellphone saying allegedly ni Vhong Navarro na 'magkita tayo.' Tapos nagkita sila sa evening. So the same day—the same evening of the same date, April 24. Unless na sinasabi nila na it happened the next day. E hindi naman sinasabi dito," she said.
Kapunan also said that a traumatized rape victim would either forget the date of the day she was raped or remember it in exact details.
"Puwedeng two sides 'yan e. Kung totoong rape victim ka o traumatized 'di mo na maaalala. Except that the other side is, 'di mo makakalimutan 'yung araw na nirape ka, 'di puwedeng papaplit-palit ka na 'ay di pala ngayon, e another date,'" she said. "There are material dates that you cannot forget. For instance, the date you were raped is very material to you na di mo pwedeng sabihing ay nagkamali ako ng date."
However, Kapunan said the public should give Cabenero the benefit of the doubt because it is never easy to come out as a rape victim.
"In fairness to Roxanne and the people who claimed that they may have been allegedly raped, pagbigyan naman natin, napakahirap na lumabas na ikaw ay na-rape. Let us give them the benefit of the doubt," she said.