Taguig court allows Vhong Navarro to post P1 million bail

Vhong Navarro. Image from Facebook / National Bureau of Investigation

FILE PHOTO. Vhong Navarro. Image from Facebook / National Bureau of Investigation

Updated: 3:34 PM, 5:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines — The Taguig regional trial court has granted the motion of comedian and television host Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro to post bail for his temporary liberty.

The trial court has set Navarro’s bail to P1 million in connection with the rape charges filed by model Deniece Cornejo.

Navarro has been in detention first at the National Bureau of Investigation’s detention facility in Manila before his transfer to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology male dormitory in Taguig while his case is being heard by the court.

In coming out with its order, Presiding Judge Loralie Cruz Datahan said the court is “not convinced at this time” of the presumption of guilt on the part of Navarro based on Cornejo’s allegations.

“Viewed in light of the foregoing, and taking the evidence presented in the bail hearings as a whole, this Court is not convinced at this point that there exists a presumption great leading to the inference of the accused guilt,” the court further ruled.

“It must be emphasized, however, that a grant of bail does not prevent the court, as trier of facts, from making a final assessment of the evidence after full trial on the merits,” it further stated.

The court took note of the inconsistencies in the affidavits of the complainant, which the court said is supposed to be “the single most important issue in the case.”

“Indeed, the notable inconsistencies in the testimony of the private complainant could not be simply brushed aside, considering that these delve into the elements of the offense charged,” the court’s decision dated December 5 said.

The court said the prosecution failed to explain why the January 22, 2014 rape incident was filed before the January 17, 2014 incident.

“It also bears to reiterate that the testimony of the victim alone is enough to convict a person of rape. However, this comes with the caveat that such testimony should be subjected to greater scrutiny to ferret out the truth,” the court said, adding that it is where the inconsistencies in Cornejo’s account were noted.

“While complainant positively claims to have been drugged by the accused, she would also testify she was not sure about it,” the court further said.

Likewise, the court said Cornejo’s actions after the alleged rape, particularly the text messages she sent Navarro and the “preening at herself and giggling,” are inconsistent with claim of trauma or someone who underwent painful ordeal such as rape.

Lastly, the court said while the complaint alleges that Navarro sexually abused Cornejo through force, threat and intimidation, and by purposely intoxicating the latter, during her testimony she confirmed that the accused had no weapon at that time and that she had not been threatened or intimidated, nor beaten up by Navarro.

“With this, the evidence so far presented failed to establish the material allegations in the Information,” the court added. EDV


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