Why Kapunan doubts Deniece's rape claim

Posted at 02/25/14 12:10 AM

MANILA – Lawyer Lorna Kapunan doubts Deniece Cornejo's claim that she was raped twice by actor Vhong Navarro.

In a counter-affidavit submitted to the Department of Justice prosecution panel, Cornejo said Navarro first sexually assaulted her when they were together in her Forbeswood Heights condo unit on January 17.

She also alleged that Navarro forced her to perform oral sex on him.

However, Kapunan wondered why the model invited Navarro again to her condominium unit on January 22, the night when the actor was mauled by Cedric Lee's group, if she was indeed first raped five days before.

"The circumstance that puts the credence to question is kung na-rape ka, bakit mo iimbitahin uli? That's my personal and legal opinion," she said in an interview on "Aquino & Abunda Tonight."

Kapunan also questioned the way Cornejo's camp changed its allegations.

"Ang problema, you cannot change theory midway. Kasi ang first na sinabi nila is attempted rape… naging consummated rape. Noong nagkaroon na sila ng abogado, si Atty. Howie [Calleja], nag-iba na sila ng theory that there was consummated rape on the on the first day, January 17," she said.

Cornejo, in her counter-affidavit, claimed that Navarro became aggressive when he first visited her in her condo unit.

"He lunged at me and managed to raise my shirt exposing my breasts, and he started touching my private parts," her counter-affidavit said.

Cornejo said she struggled but failed to stop Navarro.

"As I was struggling to stop his advances, he managed to force his penis into my mouth. I tried my best to free myself from his clutches to no avail," she said.

"He then removed his pants and inserted his penis inside my vagina. I was pleading 'No,' struggling and crying, begging him to stop and pushing him as best as I could," she said. "Eventually he stopped and left my unit."

She said businessman Cedric Lee offered to help her report the incident to authorities. "Cedric offered to help me to report what happened but I still didn't feel very well."

Her lawyer, Atty. Howard Calleja, explained why it was only now that Cornejo revealed the alleged incident.

He said their camp didn't deny that the alleged rape happened but was just "quiet" about it.

Calleja said "leeway and understanding" must be given to Cornejo.

However, he earlier told ANC Headstart in an interview that Cornejo told him that nothing happened between his client and Navarro on January 17.

"That is not true, even if pinagmamalaking may nangyari si Vhong," Calleja said in his ANC interview. "Baka to him, in his mind, gusto niyang may mangyari. But really, nothing happened."