Trigger warning: This article contains mentions of rape.
Vhong Navarro had his happiest Christmas yet as he celebrated it with his family while he’s on temporary liberty amid the revived rape charges filed by model Deniece Cornejo.
The It’s Showtime host shared a photo from his Christmas Eve celebration with his nearest and dearest on Sunday, Dec. 25. “Napakarami kong pinagpapasalamat. Thank you, Jesus! Happy birthday!” he began.
“Sa lahat ng nagdasal at umalalay sa akin, maraming maraming salamat. God bless!” he continued.
“Blessed Christmas sa ating lahat! Pinakamasayang Pasko kasama ang aking pamilya at mga kaibigan,” he added.
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Cornejo filed a case against Navarro for rape in 2014, alleging that it took place in her condominium unit on Jan. 22 that year. She, along with businessmen Cedric Lee and Jed Fernandez, were found guilty of grave coercion in 2018 after Navarro claimed he was assaulted and detained on the same night to admit the accusations.
The Court of Appeals reversed the previous resolutions in 2020, dismissing Cornejo’s claims and directing it back to the City Prosecutor of Taguig City.
On Sept. 19, the actor surrendered to the NBI after being issued a warrant in connection with the rape charges. He stayed at the Manila NBI Detention Center before he got transferred to the Taguig City Jail on Nov. 21.
The Taguig court granted Navarro’s bail petition at P1 million for his temporary liberty on Dec. 6. "Viewed in light of all 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's guilt," the court document read.
"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 also stated.
Reacting to the news, his wife, writer Tanya Bautista said it was “going to be a blessed Christmas” in a quick interview that took place when she was about to fetch Navarro from the Taguig City Jail Male Dormitory on the same day.