DOJ: Supposedly missing Vhong Navarro rape case file sent to prosecutor

DOJ: Supposedly missing Vhong Navarro rape case file sent to prosecutor
Comedian and television host Vhong Navarro.

MANILA, Philippines — An official of the Department of Justice on Monday said that the rape case file of television host Ferdinand "Vhong" Navarro related to the 2014 incident involving model-stylist Deniece Cornejo as her lawyer claims.

Ferdinand Topacio, counsel for Cornejo, claimed Sunday that the file was missing and accused department officials of "infidelity in the custody of official documents."

Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento, head of the National Prosecution Service. clarified that the case file folder was transmitted to the prosecutor's office of Taguig City on August 5. He assured the public that the parties have nothing to worry about since the case file is intact.

When asked where the case file was before it was transmitted to the Taguig prosecutor's office, Malcontento replied that he had to check with the task force head.

"What's important is nakita agad at na-transmit. (What's important is that the case file was immediately found and transmitted to the Taguig prosecutor's office)," the DOJ official said.

In a decision dated July 21, 2022, the Court of Appeals' (CA) 14th Division ordered the Taguig prosecutor’s office to file charges of rape and acts of lasciviousness against the "It's Showtime!" host. 

The appellate court granted the petition for review filed by Cornejo and reversed the resolutions promulgated by the DOJ on April 30, 2018 and July 14, 2020, which dismissed the complaints filed against Navarro.

The CA ruling was penned by Associate Justice Florencio Mamauag Jr. with Associate Justices Victoria Isabel Paredes and Mary Charlene Hernandez-Azura concurring.

“It was erroneous for the DOJ to deny Cornejo’s petition for review on the ground that her statements in the complaint-affidavits are inconsistent,” the CA said.

The appellate court said determining who is telling the truth would be a matter for trial. — with reports from Kristine Joy Patag and Rainier Allan Ronda



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