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DOJ to abide by CA ruling on Vhong Navarro’s case

August 2, 2022 Hector Lawas 408 views

JUSTICE Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Tuesday said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) will adhere to a recent Court of Appeals (CA) decision directing the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office to file rape charges against television host Vhong Navarro in connection with the complaint filed against him by model Deniece Cornejo.

“We will abide by the (CA) ruling,” Remulla said when he was asked for comment on the CA’s decision reversing the twin rulings of the DOJ released last 2018 and 2020 dismissing the cases filed by Cornejo.

In a decision promulgated on July 21, 2022, the CA 14th Division said, “Cornejo decries attempted rape on the night of January 22, 2014, while Navarro denies any wrongdoing. We reiterate once more that the preliminary investigation is not the proper venue on the respondent’s guilt or innocence.”

“Cornejo’s claim that she initially managed to escape Navarro’s unwanted advances, but he caught up with her to further his perverse objective satisfies the element of force and intimidation,” it pointed out.

CA Associate Justice Florencio Mamauag Jr. penned the ruling with Associate Justices Victoria Isabel Paredes and Mary Charlene Hernandez-Azura concurring.

According to the CA, the matter of determining who is telling the truth should be left to the discretion of trial courts.

“Issues of credibility should be adjudged during the trial proper. It goes without saying that it is the trial court that has the unique power and position to observe the witnesses’ deportment, manner of testifying, emphasis, gesture, and inflection of the voice, all of which are potent aids in ascertaining the witnesses’ credibility,” the CA said.

“However artful a corrupt witness may be, there is generally, under the pressure of a skillful cross-examination, something in his manner or bearing on the stand that betrays him, and thereby destroys the force of his testimony,” it continued.