Navarro lawyer: More charges to be filed vs Cornejo, Lee

Rappler.com
Navarro's camp is set to file perjury and libel cases against Deniece Cornejo

DENIECE CORNEJO. According to Mallonga, there are 3 instances when Cornejo 'perjured herself effectively'. Photo by Jose Del/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines  Actor Vhong Navarro’s camp is set to file libel and perjury cases against model Deniece Cornejo and businessman Cedric Lee, reported Pep.ph.

In an interview with Pep.ph, Navarro’s legal counsel Alma Mallonga cited 3 instances when Cornejo had “perjured herself effectively.” Mallonga said they are also planning to file charges against Lee for blatantly calling Navarro a “rapist” in previous interviews.

The news came after Cornejo revealed in a counter-affidavit sent to the Department of Justice on February 21, that Navarro raped her twice on dates January 17 and on January 22. Mallonga said that the new rape allegation on the counter-affidavit was the latest instance when Cornejo committed perjury.

Mallonga told Pep.ph that Cornejo “asserted the falsehood that on January 17, a rape occurred.” Mallonga claimed Cornejo “categorically said nothing of that sort happened” in her previous allegations.

In an earlier interview with ABS-CBN, Mallonga said the inconsistencies may be in favor of Navarro’s case. Mallonga also questioned why the revelation came only now.

According to Cornejo’s legal counsel Howard Calleja, however, there is nothing contradictory about their counter-affidavit. Calleja told Rappler that although the allegation of rape on January 17 was not included in the statement, “it does not say that nothing happened.”

Calleja said the revelation was prompted by Navarro’s affidavit, which claimed that a consensual sexual act had happened on January 17. According to Calleja, it was not consensual, it was a “forced sexual incident.”

Cornejo’s rape complaint

Looking back, the first instance of perjury, Mallonga told Pep.ph, was when Cornejo filed a rape complaint against Vhong late January. This, she said, was despite the fact that “evidence shows it is not true.”

On January 29, however, Cornejo filed a full blown rape case against the actor. According to a report by the Philippine Star, Calleja claimed that their camp had never said that Navarro had only “attempted” to rape Cornejo. According to Calleja, “the facts presented to us, as lawyers, clearly constitute the crime of rape.”

A police blotter filed at the Southern Police District after the incident, also detailed the events of the night, saying Navarro “forced Cornejo to [lie down] on the bed and tried to pulled down the victim’s short pant[s].”

“The complainant cried begging to the suspect to stop while Navarro was on top of her continued hurting the victim for his lewd desires,” read the blotter. At this point Lee and company proceeded to pull him off the bed, after which, a violent brawl occurred, leaving the actor with severe injuries.

The document was signed by Navarro, Cornejo, Lee, and other witnesses.

In an interview with Buzz ng Bayan days after the January 22 incident, Navaro said he signed the blotter because he was threatened by Lee and company. According to the actor, he was blindfolded, beat up, and made to confess to the alleged rape.

According to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), CCTV footage they obtained from Forbeswood Heights appear to support Navarro’s version of the events.

Calleja earlier told Rappler that the National Bureau of Investigation admitted that the CCTV footages are edited and spliced versions. Meanwhile, Mallonga told ABS-CBN that they saw nothing wrong with the CCTV footage from the NBI.

Temporary Protection Order

Another instance of perjury, Mallonga said, was when Cornejo claimed Navarro raped her, as support for her petition for a Temporary Protection Order (TPO) filed to the Regional Trial Court in Taguig. The petition was later on rejected by the court.

However, in an earlier interview with Rappler, Calleja noted that their filing of the TPO is an “interesting scenario.” He claimed the court denied their petition because a TPO requires for the sexual relationship to be consensual, among other factors.

In effect, he said, by rejecting their petition, the court acknowledged that the sexual act was not consensual. Calleja said they are filing a motion for reconsideration regarding the TPO.

Ongoing legal battles

Each side is facing respective cases filed against them.

Aside from the newly planned libel and perjury cases against Cornejo, the 22-year-old model, businessman Cedric Lee, and company are also facing complaints filed by the NBI for 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.”

Meanwhile, Navarro is facing two rape charges, one filed by Cornejo for the alleged rape incident on January 22, the other, filed by Roxanne Acosta, who recently came forward accusing the actor of an alleged rape incident in 2010.

The next preliminary investigation for charges against Cornejo and Lee is scheduled on February 28. Rappler.com

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