Roxanne Cabanero and Deniece Cornejo. Composite image/File photos
'Hindi ako matitinag,' says Roxanne
MANILA -- Former pageant contestant Roxanne Cabanero said she remains unfazed in her rape case against Vhong Navarro, following the dismissal of a similar complaint filed against the actor last week.
The Department of Justice junked last Thursday model Deniece Cornejo's rape complaint against Navarro, saying her camp was unable to provide a logical story, given the evidence including a CCTV footage of the condominium where the alleged incident took place.
Cabanero was asked to react on the dismissal on Monday, shortly after a hearing for a P1.6 million lawsuit filed against her by the organizer of Miss Bikini Philippines, a pageant she mentioned in her own rape complaint against Navarro.
Asked if she feels less hopeful in her legal battle against the actor, Cabanero said, "No. Sinasabi ko 'yung totoo. Hindi ako mawawalan nag pag-asa o madi-discourage, no."
"If na-dismiss 'yung kaso niya kay Deniece, that I don't know why kasi hindi na ako nakikinig ng mga balita. I'm not reading anything anymore, kasi lahat ng comments nasasaktan ako. So I try to avoid that part."
Cornejo, along with seven others including businessman Cedric Lee, are now facing arrest warrants following the resolution of the DOJ on the criminal charges filed against them by Navarro.
The charges -- grave coercion and serious illegal detention, which is a non-bailable offense -- are in relation to a January 22 mauling incident which left Navarro with serious injuries.
In her rape complaint, Cornejo alleged the actor sexually assaulted her on the same night, which she said led to the attack on Navarro.
'In shock, disappointed'
Cabanero filed her rape complaint against Navarro in late February, at the height of the controversy surrounding the actor's encounter with Cornejo's group.
She has repeatedly denied having ties with them, saying she does not want Cornejo's case affecting her own legal battle with Navarro.
Cabanero alleged she was raped by the actor on the night of April 24, 2010 during her stint in Miss Bikini Philippines. She claimed the incident took place inside Navarro's vehicle after he supposedly picked her up from Astoria Plaza hotel in Pasig, where she said the contestants were billeted at the time.
In subsequent interviews, Cabanero changed the place to Millenia Suites, after both Astoria and Miss Bikini Philippines denied having contestants lodged in Astoria.
Cabanero also denied specifying April 24, 2010 in her complaint, after Island Cove and comedian Vice Ganda supported Navarro's claim that he was performing at the resort in Cavite on that date.
Cabanero's lawyer, Atty. Virgilio Batalla, said the supposed rape could have happened "during the time of April 24, 25, 26, and 27."
Asked on Monday if she can now identify the precise date the alleged incident took place, Cabanero said, "Honestly, hindi ko talaga ma-remember kung kailan iyon."
"Basta the only time I can remember is that gabi 'yon. Pinick-up niya ako in front of the hotel, 'yun lang. But with the date, I'm really trying my best to remember," she told ABS-CBN News' Ginger Conejero.
Despite the mounting criticisms against her, Cabanero said she remains determined to pursue her case against Navarro. Cabenero, in her interview, appeared to contain her emotions as she vowed to seek justice.
"Right now, disappointed but hindi ako nawawalan ng pag-asa," she said, referring to the criticisms against her and the injunction case filed by the organizers Miss Bikini Philippines.
"I'm here to tell the truth. That's all. The person did something wrong to me. He wronged me. Sa akin lang, nasa-shock ako with everything, kasi ang pinaglalaban ko ay hustisya, karapatan ko bilang babae, tapos ngayon ito na naman," she said.
Cabanero added: "It hurts. Hindi mo kasi alam kung sino ang kakampi mo o hindi, e. Right now, I'm just in shock and disappointed. Gusto ko lang malaman nila na hinding-hindi ako susuko sa labang ito with Vhong. Hindi ako matitinag."