MANILA, Philippines – Model Deniece Cornejo and former pageant contestant Roxanne Acosta stand firm on their respective rape allegations against actor Vhong Navarro, even in the face of perjury cases filed against them, reported Pep.ph.
On March 6, Navarro filed respective perjury cases against the two women, who both previously filed their own rape cases against him. One case was filed by Cornejo on January 29, while the other was filed by Acosta on February 19.
‘Harassment, desperate move’
In an interview with Pep.ph, Cornejo said she considers it “natural” for Navarro to “undermine her character and deny at all costs that he raped me.” She added that she cannot comment on the perjury complaint because she has yet to see it.
The perjury case was also filed against Lee, his sister Bernice Lee and their friend Simeon “Zimmer” Raz Jr., other people allegedly involved in the incident on January 22, which left Navarro with severe injuries.
Aside from the perjury case, Cornejo, Lee, and company are also facing complaints for serious illegal detention, serious physical injuries, grave threats, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, and blackmail, filed by the National Bureau of Investigation.
For Acosta’s camp, the perjury case is “a form of harassment” and “a desperate move” by Navarro. In a separate interview with Pep.ph, Acosta’s legal counsel Virgilio Batalla said the perjury case “has no legal and factual basis.”
“If there is already proceedings in the court, If there is evidence presented before the court, well, perjury will come. Well, in the meantime, wala pang perjury,” he told Pep.ph.
“‘Yan kasi ‘di pa pumapanhik sa korte yung kaso, unless ina-admit na nila na papanhik sila sa korte,” he continued. (The case has not been raised in court, unless they admit that it will be brought to court.)
‘Handa na kami’
Navarro’s camp reportedly filed their counter-affidavit regarding Acosta’s rape case on March 6, the same day they filed the perjury case against Acosta.
Navarro’s camp was scheduled to submit the counter-affidavit during the preliminary investigation on March 13, but Mallonga, in an interview with Buzz ng Bayan, said they need not wait until the said date because they are ready to answer the allegations.
“Handang-handa na kaming sumagot at obvious na obvious naman kasi yung sinasabi ay walang basehan, so bakit pa kami maghihintay kung may witnesses na kami?… Hindi namin kailangan maghintay ng March 13, handa na kami.” (We are very ready to answer because it is very obvious thaat what they are saying have no basis, so why will we wait if we already have a witness?… We need not wait until March 13, we are already ready.)
Navarro’s camp based their counter-affidavit on April 24, the alleged rape date according to several media reports. Navarro’s camp claimed the actor was at a concert in Cavite on the alleged date. The concert producer, a back-up dancer, and Navarro’s brother also submitted their statements in support of the actor.
Comedian Vice Ganda, who reportedly performed with Navarro in the concert, also filed an affidavit supporting Navarro.
In previous interviews, however, Batalla denied saying that the rape happened on April 24, saying that the public had only been conditioned to think that it happened on the said date. He claimed the rape happened “during the time of April 24, 25, 26, and 27.”
Batalla told Pep.ph that their camp has made an effort to obtain the counter-affidavit filed by Navarro regarding the rape case and that they are set to reply to the counter-affidavit on March 13. He added, however, that they will submit the case for resolution if they find Navarro’s counter-affidavit “with no merit on our judgment.”
The recent developments come over a month after the controversial incident on January 22, which left Navarro severely injured. Navarro claimed he was a victim of extortion and was threatened and mauled by Cornejo’s friends businessman Cedric Lee and company. Cornejo’s camp, however, claimed the actor sustained his injuries after they caught him attempting to rape Cornejo.
While the scope of Cornejo’s rape case covers the events of January 22, the model recently revealed that the actor had also allegedly raped her on January 17. Navarro’s legal counsel Alma Mallonga said in a recent interview with Pep.ph that Cornejo’s second rape allegation was one of the 3 times she committed perjury.
Meanwhile, Acosta’s separate rape complaint is concerned with an alleged rape incident in 2010. The 24-year-old claimed seeing Cornejo’s story in the headlines was what “inspired” to pursue her case 4 years after the alleged rape. – Rappler.com