Sinampahan na ng Taguig City Prosecutor's Office ng kasong panggagahasa ang aktor at TV host na si Vhong Navarro.
Ito ay kaugnay sa akusasyong pangri-rape niya sa modelong si Deniece Cornejo.
Ayon sa ulat ng ABS-CBN at GMA News Online ngayong Biyernes, September 2, 2022, inakusahan ng Taguig prosecutors ang It’s Showtime host ng panggagahasa kay Deniece sa pamamagitan ng “force, threat, and intimidation” at ang sadyang pag-intoxicate umano rito noong January 17, 2014.
Nakasaad sa information na inihain sa Taguig City Regional Trial Court noong August 31, 2022:
"The undersigned Senior Assistant City Prosecutor accuses FERDINAND 'VHONG' NAVARRO, of the crime of RAPE (under Article 266-A (1) of the RPC as amended by R. A. 8353), committed as follows:
"That on or about the 17th day of January 2014 in the City of Taguig, Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable court, the above-named accused, through force, threat and intimidation, and by purposely intoxicating the victim, did wilfully and feloniously have carnal knowledge with one DENIECE MILLINETE CORNEJO [redacted information]."
Pirmado ito ni Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Irish Kay J. del Valle.
Samantala, inutos naman ng isang korte sa Taguig din na ipagpaliban muna ang pagra-raffle ng kaso ni Vhong habang wala pang desisyon ang Court of Appeals (CA) sa kanilang motion for reconsideration at urgent motion for the issuance of a status quo ante order.
CA ORDERS TAGUIG RTC TO INDICT VHONG
Noong April 2018, ibinasura ng Department of Justice (DOJ) ang petition for review ni Denice dahil wala umanong sapat na ebidensiya upang sampahan ng reklamo si Vhong.
Ngunit makalipas ang mahigit apat na taon, nitong Hulyo 2022, ipinag-utos ng Court of Appeals sa Taguig Prosecutor's Office na sampahan ng kasong rape at acts of lasciviousness ang It’s Showtime host.
Sa dalawampu’t anim (26) na pahinang desisyon ng CA 14th Division noong July 21, 2022—na inilabas noong July 31—pinaboran ng hukuman ang petition for review na inihain ni Deniece.
Isinantabi na ng CA ang mga resolusyon ng DOJ noong April 30, 2018 at July 14, 2020.
Bahagi ng desisyon ng korte: "Cornejo decries attempted rape on the night of January 22, 2014 while Navarro denies any wrongdoing. We reiterate once more that the preliminary investigation is not the proper venue on the respondent's guilt or innocence.”
Napuna raw ng CA na may pagkakamali ang DOJ sa hakbang nilang ipabasura ang petition for review ni Deniece.
Nakasaad sa desisyon, "It was erroneous for the DOJ to deny Cornejo’s petition for review on the ground that her statements in the complaint-affidavits are inconsistent and incredible. In this regard, it bears to stress that the determination of probable cause does not depend on the validity or merits of a party’s accusation or defense or on the admissibility or veracity of testimonies presented.”
Dagdag pa ng korte, "The element of carnal knowledge is likewise present when she sufficiently alleged that he successfully inserted his fingers in her vagina before proceeding to satiate his lust by forcing his penis in her vagina after she struggled with him as he mashed her breasts and tried to remove her shorts.”
Sinabi ni Vhong noon na nagkaroon sila ng oral sex ni Deniece noong January 17, 2014.
VHONG’S CAMP: NOT RAPE BUT A "SET-UP"
Idiniin ng kampo ni Vhong na makailang-beses nang ibinasura ang reklamong rape ni Deniece, hindi lang dahil sa "inconsistencies" sa mga pahayag ng dalaga, kundi base na rin sa CCTV footage na isinumiteng ebidensiya ng aktor.
Ayon sa abogado ng aktor na si Atty. Alma Mallonga, namangha sila dahil sa dalawang sworn statements ni Deniece ay wala itong nabanggit na hinalay ito ni Vhong noong January 17, 2014.
Iyon ang unang pagkikita ng dalawa sa condo unit ni Deniece sa Bonifacio Global City (BGC) sa Taguig.
Diin ni Atty. Mallonga ukol sa salaysay noon ni Deniece (published as is): "The events, contained in 8 paragraphs of the complaint, ended with Mr. Navarro leaving the condo unit at her request.
"She states: 'He tried to insist that I let him stay longer (in the condo) and even made jokes about sleeping over… I told him, 'No, di puwede talaga,' so finally he conceded… Thereafter, Kuya Vhong left my unit by himself.'
"Again, in a Petition dated February 4, 2014 filed with the court, Ms. Cornejo maintained that she was not raped on January 17, took pains to recount what happened that day which ended with her asking Mr. Navarro to leave, and he did, i.e. 'Kuya Vhong left my unit by himself.'
"Both her Complaint-Affidavit and Petition were under oath and executed with assistance of counsel."
Nanindigan ang abogado ni Vhong na hindi pa tapos ang laban.
Pahayag ni Atty. Mallonga (published as is and all caps provided):
"If the charges are filed, the Department of Justice will be placed in the absurd situation of having to prosecute Ms. Cornejo and Mr. (Cedric) Lee because Mr. Vhong Navarro had committed no rape and was illegally detained and coerced into admitting to committing that crime, and then suddenly having to charge Mr. Navarro because there is a possibility he committed these crimes according to the Court of Appeals in its decision which is not yet final.
"THE DISMISSAL OF THE RAPE COMPLAINT SHOULD BE DEFENDED AND MAINTAINED.
"THE EFFORTS OF MS. CORNEJO TO HAVE THE CHARGES IMMEDIATELY FILED SHOULD BE RESISTED.
"THESE EFFORTS ARE IN DEFIANCE OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE COURT OF APPEALS TO RULE ON THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION FILED BY MR. NAVARRO TO REVERSE ITS EARLIER DECISION.
"IN FACT, MS. CORNEJO HAS BEEN ORDERED BY THE COURT OF APPEALS TO FILE HER COMMENT TO THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION BEFORE IT, AS WELL AS TO COMMENT ON REPORTS THAT SHE IS ALREADY SEEKING TO HAVE CHARGES FILED AGAINST MR. NAVARRO."
Wala pang bagong pahayag ang kampo ni Vhong.