After granting of bail, Vhong Navarro's camp confident of acquittal in rape case

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 08 2022 04:50 PM

MANILA — The camp of actor-host Vhong Navarro is optimistic that he will be acquitted of the rape case filed against him by model Deniece Cornejo.

Navarro was released from detention Tuesday after a Taguig City court allowed to him post a P1-million bail.

"We are very, very confident that because Ms. Deniece Cornejo has already testified, that he will be acquitted. That's my fearless forecast," Navarro's lawyer Alma Mallonga told ANC's "Headstart".

For her, Cornejo's testimony is "riddled with inconsistencies".

"As you know, in rape cases, the most important witness is actually the rape victim herself... Because everything will stand or fall based on her testimony and we did have the opportunity to cross-examine Cornejo," Mallonga said.

The trial is scheduled to start in February and will be held until 2024.

"We will look for ways to have the hearing expedited if that can be done," Mallonga said.

"We still have a petition in the Supreme Court. We don't know what's going to happen there. But the goal is to have the cases themselves, not only this one, but for the acts of lasciviousness, disposed of, dismissed at the earliest possible time," she added.

The court granted Navarro's petition for bail ruling that the evidence presented so far have failed to establish material allegations in the information or criminal charge.

The inconsistencies in Cornejo’s affidavits, according to the court, were “too material to ignore.” 

Cornejo had executed three affidavits with “different versions” of the alleged rape.

In the first and second affidavits, the court noted there was no allegation that rape took place on January 17, 2014. 

The rape claim came more than a year later, in the third affidavit.

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The rape allegation against Navarro came to light after the comedian was mauled on Jan. 22, 2014 by the group of businessman Cedric Lee, Cornejo’s friend, who supposedly rushed to rescue Cornejo.

But CCTV footage presented by the NBI showed Cornejo taking the elevator to go down the condo building and was therefore not in the condo unit when Lee and his companions arrived to supposedly rescue her, according to NBI assistant regional director Vicente de Guzman in January 2014.

Navarro was tied up inside Cornejo’s unit and brought to a Southern Police District station supposedly so he could confess to raping the model.

The Department of Justice has dismissed the rape charges against Navarro due to inconsistencies in Cornejo’s affidavits but was reversed by the Court of Appeals this year.