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Vhong Navarro ‘grateful’ after SC junks rape, acts of lasciviousness cases

Actor and TV host Vhong Navarro on Tuesday expressed his gratitude to the Supreme Court (SC) after it junked rape and acts of lasciviousness cases filed against him due to lack of probable cause.

Navarro also said he now believes “there is a justice system in the Philippines” because of the ruling, according to Dano Tingcungco’s report on “24 Oras,”

On Monday, the High Court made public a February 18 decision that "reversed and set aside" the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) issued in July 2021 and September 2022 directing the Department of Justice (DOJ) to revive the case against the actor.

Navarro’s case stemmed from the three separate rape complaints filed by Deniece Cornejo from 2014 to 2015 before the Taguig City Fiscal Office. All charges were junked by the fiscal due to lack of probable cause.

The third case reached the DOJ but it was dismissed in 2018 because of reported inconsistencies in the victim’s testimonies.

Cornejo’s camp lodged the case at the CA, which directed the Taguig City Fiscal Office to file two counts of rape and acts of lasciviousness against the actor.

The CA explained the court has the jurisdiction to identify if there was grave abuse of discretion on the DOJ’s ruling which favored the fiscal and dismissed the charges.

However, the SC said only the fiscal determines if there was a basis to file cases and that they cannot force an individual to go on trial if the fiscal rules there was not enough evidence for a case. It likewise said Cornejo should not have allowed to change her testimony.

Navarro’s legal counsel also expressed elation over the SC decision, saying it was a “vindication” for the actor.

GMA Integrated News has reached out to Cornejo’s camp for comment. — Sundy Locus/BM, GMA Integrated News