Topacio: Cornejo case ‘distancing’ only division of labor

Top caliber lawyer Atty. Ferdinand Topacio — who has been handling the rape case of model Deniece Millinete Cornejo filed against television host and actor Ferdinand Hipolito popularly known as Vhong Navarro — said on Monday that he has not yet left the legal team of Cornejo amid reports that he will no longer represent Cornejo in the said case.

In an exclusive interview with Daily Tribune’s online morning program Gising Na!, Topacio stressed that the development was just a mere division of labor, allowing the other lawyer of Cornejo to focus on the case.

Topacio maintained that it is not healthy if there are a lot of minds engaging the case of Cornejo, as “many cooks (may) spoil the broth.”

“It is not that I already quit, that’s a misnomer. Lawyers are somehow having a sort of divergence. Our legal opinion battles. I’m leaving the case to Howie Calleja, and we have a sort of division of labor.

What is important is to deliver justice to Ms. Cornejo,” Topacio said.

Earlier, the lawyer said that the “fundamental difference in managing the case, I cannot in good conscience and ethics continue to be part of the proceedings.”

“I wish to state that I am henceforth dissociating and distancing myself from the prosecution of Mr. Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro in the rape case filed by Ms. Deniece Cornejo against him. Topacio noted that he had represented Cornejo in the serious illegal detention case filed against him by Navarro, up to convince the Court of Appeals to order the filing of the rape case against the television host,” Topacio said.

“I have done all these to attain justice for Ms. Cornejo before the courts. There are certain people, however, who are trying to take the case in a direction that I do not wish to pursue as an advocate,” he added.

Topacio stressed that he will continue joining the legal team of Cornejo but will focus on the cases that Cornejo mulls to file in the coming days, including a cyber libel case.

“I am still part of the legal team. All is good with respect to the legal team of Denice Cornejo,” he said.

Arraignment set

Meanwhile, Navarro will be arraigned on Tuesday afternoon on the rape case filed by Cornejo before the Taguig City Regional Trial Court before the sala of Branch 69 Judge Loralei Cruz Datahan.

“The arraignment of the said accused and the pre-trial conference of the above-entitled case will be held before this court sitting on the Ground Floor, Hall of Justice General Santos Avenue, Central Bicutan, Taguig City,” Datahan said.

It was the said judge who issued the arrest warrant against Navarro last month for the non-bailable offense of rape.

It was issued on the day that another Taguig court issued a warrant on the acts of lasciviousness case also filed by Cornejo against Navarro.

However, unlike the rape case, an act of lasciviousness is a bailable offense, with Navarro paying P36,000.

The filing of the criminal raps against Navarro came after the Court of Appeals granted Cornejo’s motion questioning the Department of Justice’s earlier dismissal of the cases.

Leave a Reply

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