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MANILA, Philippines – “Matakot ka sa ikalawang buhay” (Be afraid of your second life), said a tearful Deniece Cornejo to actor Vhong Navarro, whom she said attempted to rape her.
Since news broke of the incident, conflicting sides of the story have emerged – one, of Navarro saying he was mauled, threatened and was a victim of extortion, the other of Cornejo and company saying they beat up the actor after they caught him attempting to rape Cornejo.
‘Second life in hell’
In the Startalk interview, Cornejo stood firm on her story, swearing by her life that she is telling the truth. She aired an emotional message to Navarro, telling him to fear a second life in hell.
“Ngayon panalo ka pero matakot ka sa ikalawang buhay,” she said. (Now, you win, but be afraid of your second life.)
“Ako, handa akong ibuwis ang buhay ko na nagsasabi ako ng katotohanan, hindi ako natatakot. Mas ikinakatakot ko ang ikalawang buhay diyan sa impyerno.” (I am ready to bet on my life that I am telling the truth, I am not afraid. What I fear is a second life there in hell)
Cornejo also made mention of Navarro’s sons, questioning what lessons the actor is leaving with them. He told Navarro that he will bear that burden for the rest of his life.
“Mga anak mong lalaki, anong ituturo mo sa kanila, anong ipamamana mo sa kanila, yung mali?” (What are you teaching your sons, what are you leaving them, the wrong?)
She furthered that hurting her is as good as hurting other rape victims and that she serves to give strength to others who have been abused or hurt.
‘Be a man’
Without dropping any names, she defended her rescuers, describing them as good people, who worked hard for their wealth and connections, and who don’t deserve the backlash they have been receiving from the public.
“Bakit puro na lang kami, sila na nga ang tumulong eh. Tinulungan nila ako, pinagtanggol nila ako kaya ito ang tamang oras para ipagtanggol ko sila. Hindi nila ito deserve,” she said.
She called on Navarro to be a man like those who came to her rescue.
“Magpakalalaki ka” (be a man), she challenged Navarro, pointing out that they are not in a movie and that there is sadness and a “dark side” that he needs to face.
On a final note, Cornejo said that if there’s anyone who was dehumanized, it was her. “Kung meron man ditong binaboy, hindi ikaw kung hindi binaboy mo ako.” (If anyone was treated like a pig, it was me, not you. You treated me like a pig.)
Despite this, she added that she will continue to pray for the actor, also hoping for his family’s understanding.
Cornejo and company have shown conviction to their story in media interviews since the news headlined, but evidence gathered by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are inconsistent with their claims.
On January 28, the NBI filed a complaint against Deniece Cornejo, her friend Cedric Lee, and 6 other individuals who were said to have been involved in the alleged mauling and extortion of Navarro.
They were charged with serious illegal detention, serious physical injuries, grave threats, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, and threatening to publish and offer to prevent such publication for a compensation.
The following day, the NBI released CCTV footage from the night of the incident. According to the NBI, the videos appeared to support Navarro’s claim of 6 men beating him up inside Cornejo’s condominium unit.
Meanwhile, Cornejo’s camp is pushing through with charges of attempted rape and libel against Navarro.
In the same Startalk episode, Navarro’s legal counsel Dennis Manalo said that a perjury case may be filed against Cornejo if it is proven that they gave false statements in this case, where the parties must tell the truth under oath. – Rappler.com