WATCH: Deniece, father in emotional reunion
Kin 'hoping, praying' Deniece won't be transferred to city jail
MANILA - After a year apart from his family, Dennis Cornejo, father of embattled model Deniece, finally met his daughter on Tuesday night in her detention facility in Quezon City.
The reunion happened at around 7:30 p.m. at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) building of the Philippine National Police headquarters, where Deniece has been detained since May 5.
Deniece's grandmother, Florencia, and grand uncle, Rod, were among those who witnessed the emotional meeting.
Speaking with reporters, Rod Cornejo explained that Dennis had been working on a ship for the past year and was unable to go home until Tuesday.
"Isang taon na siyang wala, so talagang hindi sila nagkita. Ngayon, nagkataon, darating siya, so gusto niya agad pumunta dito para makita ang kanyang anak," he said.
Rod added: "Hindi siya makabigay ng depensa o magpakita ng moral support. So ngayon darating siya. Ito'y malaking pagkakataon, na 'yung mag-ama ay magsasama."
Rod requested reporters not to interview Dennis at this time.
'Masakit sa ama'
According to Rod, Dennis has kept up with developments of Deniece's case.
The 23-year-old is charged with serious illegal detention, along with businessman Cedric Lee and Simeon Raz, Jr., in connection with the January 22 mauling of actor Vhong Navarro.
All three are also charged with grave coercion.
Two separate rape complaints filed by Cornejo against Navarro have been dismissed by the Department of Justice and the Taguig Prosecutor's Office, respectively.
"Siyempre, masakit iyon sa ama," Rod said of Dennis' initial reaction when the controversy erupted in January. "Nandoon siya, narito ang kanyang asawa, mga anak, wala siyang magawa."
"Ito ay isang pagsasama ng isang ama at anak, siguro para magbigay ng lakas ng loob para sa bawat isa, at magbigay din ng pag-asa sa tulong ng Panginoon, na sa ating judicial process ay lumabas ang katotohanan," he added.
No to city jail transfer
Dennis' visit to his daughter happened amid news of the Taguig Regional Court denying Deniece's petition to stop a possible transfer to a city jail. The resolution was signed by Branch 271 presiding judge Paz Esperanza Cortes last June 16.
"We are hoping and praying na hindi siya mapunta sa city jail. Talagang lahat ay nasa kamay na ng huwes," Rod said. "The lawyers are doing their best. Tayo ay nasa likod lang, and we are hoping and praying."
Explaining Deniece's preference to remain detained at the CIDG, Rod added: "Dito mas safe siya. Sa leadership ng CIDG, she's being treated fairly, hindi favorably, but fair. And she feels safe."
"Dito pa nga, naging kaibigan niya ang mga kasama niya sa detention center. Si Deniece ay isang matatag na tao, malakas ang kanyang loob at malakas ang kanyang pananampalataya," he said.