MANILA, Philippines – Roxanne Acosta Cabanero, one of three women who filed a rape case against comedian and TV host Vhong Navarro this year, is among this year’s Miss World Philippines contestants.
Roxanne was present during the official announcement of contestants at the Raven Boutique Club in Fort Bonifacio on Wednesday, September 10.
Roxanne shared her reason for joining the competition with Rappler.
“For almost 7 months I have been hiding myself. And I think this is a great opportunity for me to just go out there and really reclaim the confidence that I lose 7 months ago because I was really publicly humiliated,” she said.
“And right now I just want to follow my dream. I’ve been a beauty queen by heart. What made me decide [to join the contest] because of reclaiming my confidence and the support of my boyfriend.”
When asked how she is now after the ordeal, Roxanne said: “Physically I am back. Emotionally I am still 70%. Thirty percent a little scared pa kaunti (a little). I want to be a hundred percent again. The confident Roxanne that I use to be.”
According to Roxanne, joining Miss World Philippines is the perfect opportunity for her advocacy.
“This is a beauty pageant, a beauty in giving. That’s the whole advocacy of the beauty pageant. As we all what I went through 7 months ago, as a victim I think this my time to really give that face. If you are a victim, you don’t need to be afraid anymore. You go out there, fight for your right and just live and go on with your life.”
“I still want to pursue my law degree. And I will be a lawyer, that will be a hundred percent sure in the future. My advocacy would really be fight for your rights… rape doesn’t only happen to women but also happens to men. The whole thing is just to be confident, go out there and be yourself again,” she added.
Back in February, Roxanne accused Vhong of raping her in 2010. At the time she met Vhong, she was a contestant in another beauty contest.
Roxanne was the second woman to come forward after Deniece Cornejo accused Vhong of raping her the night he went to her condo at The Fort in January. Both of Deniece’s rape charges have since been dismissed in April and in July by the Department of Justice and Taguig Prosecutor’s Office.
Vhong’s camp denied Roxanne’s accusations and since filed charges against her. –Rappler.com