By JONATHAN HICAP
TV host and comedian Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro thanked the Supreme Court (SC) for dismissing the rape and acts of lasciviousness cases filed by model Deniece Cornejo, saying that he now believes that the justice system is working in the country.
In a decision promulgated on Feb. 8, the Supreme Court granted Navarro’s petition for review on certiorari questioning the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) last July and September that led to the filing of the rape and acts of lasciviousness cases against him before the Taguig courts.
Cornejo accused Navarro of raping her in her condominium unit in Taguig on Jan. 17, 2014. The acts of lasciviousness allegedly happened on Jan. 22, 2014.
Last July, the CA ordered the Taguig Prosecutor’s Office to file the cases against Navarro, who was eventually detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Taguig City Jail Male Dormitory. His petition for bail was granted on Dec. 6 last year.
During the “It’s Showtime” program on March 14, Navarro hailed the SC decision and thanked his lawyers, colleagues, friends, fans and family.
“Alam mo, dasal ako nang dasal every day, every night na hopefully e makuha ko na yung minimithi ko na matapos na itong pinagdadaanan ko,” he said.
He added, “Kasi may mga panahon na akala ko nawalan ako ng pag-asa. Nawalan ako ng hope nung nasa loob ako. Pero di ako tumigil sa pagdadasal. Kaya eto na po dininggin na ng Supreme Court ‘yung dasal natin. Nagkakaroon na po ng maganda ang ginawa nilang pagresolba dun sa kaso ko.”
“Kaya maraming-maraming salamat sa Supreme Court,” said Navarro.
He also thanked his legal team, including lead counsel Alma Mallonga, ABS-CBN for giving him a job through “It’s Showtime,” Streetboys, his wife Tanya, kids, and friends.
“At ngayon po dahil sa Supreme Court, naniniwala po uli ako na may justice system sa Pilipinas,” said Navarro.
In the decision, the Supreme Court said Navarro’s “petition is impressed with merit.”
“The CA erred in finding that the DOJ committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in dismissing the Third Complaint for rape and attempted rape against Navarro for lack of probable cause,” it said.
The Supreme Court cited Cornejo’s inconsistent statements in three affidavits she filed against Navarro.
“Justice and fair play dictate that Cornejo should not be permitted to materially change her theory in her two previous complaints in a deliberate attempt to address or rectify the weaknesses of her theories, as pointed out by the prosecutor in the dismissal thereof, or worse, supplant or add new material allegations,” it said.
It added, “Contrary to the proposition of the CA, the inconsistencies in her [Cornejo’s] allegations are not trivial, minor, or inconsequential. Indeed, no amount of skillful or artful deportment, manner of speaking, or portrayal in a subsequent court proceeding could supplant Cornejo’s manifestly inconsistent and highly deficient, doubtful, and unclear accounts of her supposed harrowing experience in the hands of Navarro.”