‘Vhong’ rape files not missing

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has already moved the case file versus television host Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro to the Office of the City Prosecutor of Taguig City two weeks after the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered his trial for rape and acts of lasciviousness.

According to Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, the documents folder pertaining to the criminal complaints filed by model Deniece Cornejo against Navarro was already sent to the Taguig prosecutors for filing in court.

Malcontento issued the statement to debunk media reports (not Daily Tribune’s) attributed to a lawyer that the Cornejo-Navarro case records have gone missing. He, however, confirmed that the case file had to be traced to where it was last handed for review by the DoJ.

“When it was located, it contained numerous pages. The paging must be indicated in the transmittal,” he said of the files on the 2014 charges raised by Cornejo against Navarro.

The CA’s 14th Division has directed Taguig prosecutors to file the rape and acts of lasciviousness charges against Navarro after the DoJ twice junked Cornejo’s complaint in 2018 and 2020.

In one instance, the DoJ ruled the sexual act between Cornejo and Navarro seemed to have been consensual. In another, it cited the alleged contradictions in the statements issued by Cornejo.

The appellate court held it was “erroneous” for the DoJ to junk Cornejo’s petition for review of the junking of her complaint by Taguig City prosecutors since determining who between the complainant and the subject of the complaint was telling the truth should be determined through trial.

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said last week that his department would abide by the CA order.

Based on its review of the complaint, the CA said all the elements of rape by sexual intercourse were sufficiently alleged by Cornejo.

It said the DoJ should have allowed a trial court to weigh and decide on the merits of Cornejo’s accusations and Navarro’s counter-accusations.

“Given the peculiar nature of rape, it almost always presents a ‘he said, she said’ scenario which leaves to the trial court the task to decide whom between the private complainant or the accused should it believe,” the CA said.

Cornejo’s camp filed last week a motion before the Taguig City Prosecutors Office for the immediate filing of the charges against Navarro.

The ex-model said in her complaint that she was assaulted twice on separate days by Navarro.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *