MANILA — A Taguig court on Monday issued a warrant of arrest against comedian-host Vhong Navarro for acts of lasciviousness based on case filed by model Deniece Cornejo.
Navarro is on his way to the National Bureau of Investigation to surrender as of this posting, his lawyer Alma Mallonga said.
In a 1-page order, Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 116 Judge Angela Francesca Din found “probable cause” to hold Navarro for trial after “personally evaluating and taking into consideration the Information…as well as the allegations in the complaint affidavit executed by the offended party, which are all under oath, together with the supporting documents…”
“As probable cause exists to hold the accused for trial, let a Warrant of Arrest be issued against accused Ferdinand ‘Vhong’ H. Navarro,” the order said.
The Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court recommended bail of P36,000.
The acts of lasciviousness case is separate from the rape case earlier filed against Navarro. It allegedly happened on January 22, 2014.
Cornejo initially claimed Navarro raped her in her condominium unit on January 22 but later claimed she was also raped on January 17 of the same year.
The filing of both the rape and acts of lasciviousness charges against Navarro came after a Court of Appeals ruling in favor of Cornejo, which reversed the DOJ's junking of all the complaints she filed against Navarro due to inconsistent statements.
In a statement, Navarro’s lawyer retraced the events of Jan. 22, 2014, when he was “detained, mauled, threatened, tied up” by the group of Cedric Lee.
Cornejo could be seen on CCTV inside the elevator a minute after Navarro went to her condo unit.
"After she enters elevator, she is smiling, even apparently suppressing giggles, as she looks at her reflection, making it clear she was not a victim of rape/attempted rape/acts of lasciviousness," said Navarro's lawyer Mallonga.
Navarro will seek reconsideration of the order to issue arrest warrant, but will surrender to authorities in the meantime, his lawyer said.
"Mr. Navarro reiterates that he is the victim of the crimes of Serious Illegal Detention and Grave Coercion," Mallonga said.
In a recent interview with ABS-CBN News, Navarro said he was alarmed that the rape case resurfaced.
“Ever since na nagsimula 'to, nagsabi ako ng katotohanan. Hindi ako nagsinungaling. Consistent ako dun sa mga affidavit namin. Kumbaga lahat kinwento ko dun. 'Di ba paulit-ulit kong sinasabi, ang pagkakasala ko, ang kasalanan ko rito ay 'yung niloko ko 'yung girlfriend ko noon at ito na 'yung wife ko noon,” he said.
(Ever since this started, I told the truth. I did not lie. I was consistent in our affidavits. I told everything there. I repeatedly said that my mistake was cheating on my then girlfriend.)
Meanwhile, the rape case against Navarro is pending before Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 69, which has yet to issue an arrest warrant.
Navarro’s case against Lee, Cornejo and their companions for serious illegal detention is also being prosecuted in court while Lee and Cornejo have been convicted for grave coercion over the mauling of Navarro.