All you need to know about the Vhong Navarro Case
(Updated: 11 april 14 14.22)
Vhong Navarro is facing yet another rape complaint, and his camp is not surprised.
Philippine Entertainment Portal (Pep) received a message last week from Vhong’s legal counsel attorney Alma Mallonga confirming a third rape charge against his client. Mallonga added that they have yet to receive a copy of the complaint.
The attorney added that they are actually expecting more, especially since Vhong’s complaint against his persecutors led by businessman Cedric Lee is nearing a decision: ‘We expect more, especially as the DOJ nears resolution of the complaint for the non-bailable crime of serious illegal detention against Cedric, Deniece and company.’
Attorney Mallonga also believed that the third case is another ploy by Cedric’s camp to ruin Vhong in the public eye and that ‘Cedric, et al are getting more desperate.
‘We will not be cowed. Hindi kami matitinag. This has only made us more determined to stay the course.’
This latest news is one of a series of rape complaints charged against Vhong Navarro since January.
- It all started on 24 January when photos of a severely beaten-up Vhong circulated the net. Speculations then pointed to an alleged blackmailing and then a rape linked to the comedian.
Photos of Vhong right after he was beaten up
- On 26 January, Buzz ng Bayan revealed an exclusive interview of Vhong in the hospital airing his side of the ordeal and dropping the names Deniece Cornejo and Cedric Lee.
According to Vhong, he was visiting Cornejo in her condominium in Taguig City on 22 January when he was mauled by Lee’s group. He said their motive was extortion and blackmail.
Cornejo and Lee denied the allegations in the succeeding days and said Vhong tried to rape Cornejo during the visit. According to their account of what happened, Lee was on his way to Cornejo’s unit when his group heard shouting. They then caught the actor trying to rape Cornejo and proceeded to beat him up in her defence.
Alleged victim Deniece Cornejo and her ‘rescuer’ Cedric Lee
- On 28 January, based on initial investigations, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed a complaint before the Justice department (DOJ) against Lee, Cornejo and six others. The charges include serious physical injuries, grave threats, grave coercion, unlawful arrest and blackmail.
Later, NBI unearthed more evidences that corroborated Vhong’s rather than Lee’s statement. Debates on which side was telling the truth fueled public interest, leading to accusations of biased reporting among rival networks GMA7 and ABS-CBN.
- On 6 February, Vhong was finally released from St Luke’s Medical Centre and submitted additional affidavits to the DOJ, strengthening his case against Cornejo and Lee.
Former beauty contestant Roxanne Cabanero
- Sixteen days later, on 22 February, a second complainant surfaced: Roxanne Acosta-Cabanero, who said she had been raped by Vhong in 2010.
Cabanero’s allegation, however, was later challenged by Vice Ganda, Vhong’s co-host in weekend vaudeville ‘It’s Showtime.’
- Vice Ganda submitted an affidavit on 26 February claiming he and Vhong had a show on the alleged date of Roxanne’s rape.
Vice Ganda swears by his affidavit supporting Vhong
- The challenge prompted Cabanero to change her original statement. Around the same time in early March, Cornejo also modified her statement and said that Vhong raped her twice: on 17 and 22 January.
- Vhong’s camp criticised the complainants for changing their statements and filed perjury on 6 March.
- On 8 March, Vhong Navarro returned to It’s Showtime. He thanked his family, friends and fans who continued to support him despite the persistence of his opponents.
- A month later, on the first days of April, Vhong announced he is still trying to recover from trauma but that he is already resuming his projects.
A jollier Vhong with Da Possessed co-star Solenn Heussaff
- On 10 April, the DOJ dismissed Cornejo’s rape complaint against Vhong and has ordered the charges of serious illegal detention and others to be filed against Cornejo, Lee and five others. Vhong welcomed the news and thanked family, colleagues, fans and his defence counsel for their continued help.
Today, Vhong is getting support from all channels and is marking his slow return to normalcy with the release of his film ‘Da Possessed’ on 19 April.