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Vhong Navarro rape case file missing – lawyer

Rainier Allan Ronda - The Philippine Star
Vhong Navarro rape case file missing â lawyer
‘It’s Showtime’ host Vhong Navarro.
ABS-CBN / Released

MANILA, Philippines — A lawyer lamented yesterday the supposedly missing rape case file of television host Vhong Navarro as another setback in the quest for justice of model Deniece Cornejo, who accused the actor of sexually abusing her in 2014.

Ferdinand Topacio, counsel for Cornejo, expressed hope that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would clear the issue.

Topacio said the DOJ, particularly those responsible for the safekeeping of the official documents, may face criminal charges over the missing case file.

“That is a criminal offense. That is infidelity in the custody of official documents,” Topacio said at a virtual press conference.

He said he would seek the help of Justice Secretary Crispin Remulla for a speedy resolution of the case.

Topacio said Cornejo’s camp could move for a reconstitution of the file if the DOJ would maintain that the documents were lost.

Last week, other lawyers representing Cornejo filed a motion asking the Taguig City prosecutor’s office to file charges of rape and acts of lasciviousness against Navarro.

The Court of Appeals (CA) has 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 lodged 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 the matter of determining who is telling the truth would be known during the trial proper.

VHONG NAVARRO

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