Tall tales

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

RAPE is a difficult crime to prove. In the absence of physical evidence as well as witnesses, the situation evolves into a contentious “he said, she said’ case.

Actor, comedian and host Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro has been accused of rape, first by model Deniece Cornejo and now by former beauty pageant contestant Roxanne Acosta-Cabanero. The actor denies these charges and alleges he is a victim of extortion.

Who tells tall tales? While it is not easy to determine who’s telling the truth and who’s not, there are telltale signs of lying.


Let’s take Vhong Navarro’s first accuser, Deniece Cornejo. First, she said she would charge Navarro with “attempted rape.” Then, she changed the charge to “rape.” There is a huge difference between attempted rape and rape. Does Cornejo not know the difference?

Cornejo initially said the rape occurred on January 22, their second meeting. She vehemently denied Navarro’s claims they had oral sex on January 17, their first meeting. She repeatedly claimed that NOTHING happened on the first meeting. Recently, Cornejo once more changed her story. She now says she was raped twice—first on January 17 and then on January 22.

The second accuser, Roxanne Acosta-Cabanero, has her facts mixed up in regard to when and where the alleged rape happened but I’m not going to put importance on these discrepancies. I refer instead to her televised interview with ABS-CBN’s Doris Bigornia.

With tears streaming down her face, Acosta claimed she lived in fear of Navarro, her alleged rapist in 2010, yet she admitted exchanging text messages with him in the last four years because she wanted to stay friends with him. What gives?

Just as we found it unusual for Cornejo to be nonchalantly fixing herself up in the elevator in the aftermath of an alleged traumatic one-minute rape which strangely left no visible signs on her, we also find it bizarre for Acosta to be maintaining a 4-year friendly relationship with her supposed rapist.

Acosta bewailed on national tv that she wants Navarro brought to court so he can apologize to her and explain why he raped her. Again, I find this odd. I would imagine that the first reaction of a rape victim upon being given the chance to bring charges against her rapist would be to fight tooth and nail to put the rapist behind bars.

A victim of rape would be in a murderous rage to demand justice. Demanding an apology, explanation, not to mention payment for damages for a television set and furniture destroyed during the crime would not be a rape victim’s first reaction.

I don’t know if Cornejo and Acosta tell tall tales but I find a lack of consistency not to mention logic in the stories they tell. Further, their actions and appearances belie the supposed fear and trauma they continue to experience from the alleged crimes.

If Cornejo and Acosta indeed lie, they should know that their lies do real rape victims as well as falsely-accused men, a great disservice. Those who falsely cry rape should be as harshly punished as those who actually commit rape.

Nobody should be able to tell tall tales and get away with it.


(email: sunstarcebucolumnist@yahoo.com/Twitter: http://twitter.com/melanietlim)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 02, 2014.


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