The Court of Appeals (CA) denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the camp of actor and It’s Showtime host Vhong Navarro in its order to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file acts of lasciviousness and rape by sexual intercourse charges against him.
In a resolution dated September 20 but was only made public on Sunday (September 25), the 14th division of the CA said that the issues raised by Navarro “are matters best left to the determination of the trial court after a full-blown trial on the merits.”
Navarro pointed out in his motion for reconsideration that there are several issues in terms of the credibility of the complainant, the veracity of their claims, and the strength of their evidence.
“It is not a trial of the case on the merits and has no purpose except that of determining whether a crime has been committed and whether there is probable cause to believe that the accused is guilty thereof,” the CA said.
The CA 14th Division has also denied Navarro’s plea for the issuance of a status quo ante order, saying that “judicial review is permitted where it is established that the public prosecutor committed grave abuse of discretion.”
Meanwhile, the lawyer for Deniece Cornejo lauded the CA decision, saying that it could be considered a victory for their camp.
“It is once again a signal victory for our crusade for truth and justice to prevail. As we have always said, let the court decide in a full-blown trial,” Atty. Ferdinand Topacio said, in a report by the Manila Bulletin.
Navarro surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on September 19 after Branch 116 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Taguig City issued a warrant of arrest for the acts of lasciviousness charge, and he was able to post bail at P36,000.
However, hours after, another arrest warrant was issued by Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 69 Presiding Judge Loralie Cruz Datahan for the rape by sexual intercourse charge, which, under Article 266-A (1) of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by The Anti Rape Law of 1997, was a non-bailable offense.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates. The views expressed are his own.
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