DOJ junks rape raps vs actor Vhong Navarro

MANILA — The Department of Justice cleared TV host and actor Vhong Navarro in the several counts of rape case filed by model Deniece Cornejo last January 2014.

In a 24-page review resolution signed by OIC Prosecutor General Severino Gaña dated September 6, 2017, but was released to media on Friday, the DOJ dismissed the rape and attempted rape charges against Navarro.

Cornejo accused Navarro of two counts of rape — by sexual intercourse and by sexual assault.

“As complainant evidence stands, the same does not establish probable cause to indict respondent for the crimes he is accused of committing,” read the review resolution.

The DOJ conducted three investigations in connection with the case, but the charges against Navarro were dismissed in the first two investigations.

“At least three investigations had been conducted into the accusations of complainant against respondent — by the DOJ’s three-member panel, the Office of the City Prosecutor in Taguig and by the City Prosecutor of Manila…In all three investigations, the credibility of complainant’s story has been passed upon and ruled to be questionable,” the DOJ review resolution stated.

The DOJ said Cornejo’s version of the incident that took place on Jan. 17 and 22, 2014 “suffers from a very serious credibility issue.”

The DOJ noted that Cornejo filed two other complaints against Navarro on the same incident. However, Cornejo “changed her story each time.”

“To be sure, the voluminous records of this case was meticulously scrutinized vis-a-vis the original resolution finding probable cause. However, such thorough scrutiny has failed to make us engender a well-founded belief that the rape and attempted rape described by complainant actually happened,” the resolution further stated adding that “to be sure, no story is unbelievable if the storyteller is credible.”