The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday said the case file of ABS-CBN television host and actor Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro has been transmitted to the office of the prosecutor in Taguig City two weeks after the Court of Appeals ordered the filing of rape and acts of lasciviousness case against him.
“The folder was transmitted to the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) in Taguig City last Friday,” DOJ-National Prosecution Service (NPS) Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento said, referring to the case file of Navarro.
Malcontento made the statement to deny a newspaper report that Navarro’s case records were missing.
According to Malcontento, they were able to trace the case file which was previously subject to a petition for review before the DOJ.
“When it was located, it contained numerous pages. The paging must be indicated in the transmittal,” he said.
The CA 14th division issued last July 21 a decision directing the city prosecutor of Taguig to file rape by sexual intercourse and acts of lasciviousness charges against Navarro.
The appellate court reversed and set aside the 2018 and 2020 resolutions of the DOJ dismissing the complaint filed in 2014 by model Deniece Cornejo against the actor-host.
The CA ruled that it was “erroneous” for the DOJ to junk Cornejo’s petition for review on the ground that her statements in the complaint-affidavits were inconsistent and incredible.
Based on its review of the complaint, the CA said all the elements of rape by sexual intercourse under paragraph (1) of Article 266-A were sufficiently alleged.
The CA said the DOJ should have left the trial court to weigh and decide on the merits of Cornejo’s accusations and Navarro’s counter-accusations.
“Given the peculiar nature of rape, it almost always presents a ‘he said, she said’ scenario which leaves the trial court the task to decide whom between the private complainant, or the accused should it believe,” the appellate court said.
The appellate court stressed that it would ultimately be up to the trial court to determine who between Navarro and Cornejo speaks the truth.
Cornejo’s camp filed last week a motion before the Taguig Prosecutor’s Office seeking the immediate filing of the rape and acts of lasciviousness charges against Navarro.
It can be recalled that Cornejo has accused Navarro of two counts of rape by sexual intercourse and by sexual assault.
On her first complaint against Navarro, Cornejo said he pinned her down, touched her private parts but when he was about to rape her, her friends arrived at her condominium unit in Taguig city on January 22, 2014.
Cornejo filed a second complaint dated February 27, 2014 against Navarro, accusing him of rape as she denied Navarro’s allegation that she consented to perform oral sex with him on January 17, 2014.
A third complaint was filed by Cornejo wherein she provided the DOJ more details of the January 17, 2014 and January 22, 2014 incidents.
However, the DOJ in its assailed resolutions, said Cornejo’s accounts “suffers from a very serious credibility issue.”