We Can't Keep Ignoring the Sexual Misconduct Allegations Against Vhong Navarro

Apart from Deniece Cornejo, three other women have come forward in the past.

There's been some interesting updates to Ferdinand "Vhong" Navarro life recently. The host and entertaner was detained at the National Bureau of Investigation after he was arrested last September related to a charge of rape filed by Deniece Cornejo. But on Wednesday (November 16), he was ordered transferred to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Taguig City Jail. Throughout his whole ordeak, the It's Showtime star continues to receive a wave of public support from fans and friends alike. However, if we look at the past sexual misconduct allegations against the star, it's difficult to ignore a pattern emerging.

Assistant Taguig City Prosecutor Irish Kay del Valle accused Navarro of using “force, threat and intimidation," and  that that he had purposely intoxicated her on January 17, 2014. The television host's camp has since denied the charges and filed a petition for bail. The Court of Appeals (CA), on the other hand, wound up denying Navarro's motions to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from filing charges of rape by sexual intercourse and acts of lasciviousness against the comedian.

"Victim blaming is a very common practice throughout the world especially for rape victims," Cornejo once told the Inquirer.

The current case Navarro is facing is separate from the cases Cornejo had previously filed and which the lower courts have dismissed. But the Court of Appeals later reversed the past resolutions and grant edthe model's petition to reopen the case. While Cornejo's case in 2014 ended up being dismissed by the DOJ and warrants of arrest were issued against her and Cedric Lee, this particular incident isn't the first time Navarro has been accused of sexual misconduct.


In a separate incident in the past, stunt woman Margarita Fajardo, who had worked with Navarro in the I Love Betty La Fea series, had also accused the star of rape. She alleged that it happened in the comedian in 2009 while on a location shoot for the series. A case was filed in 2014 but it was dismissed due to lack of evidence.

Another woman by the name of Roxanne Acosta Cabanero had also filed a case against Navarro in 2014. In her affidavit, Cabanero said that she met the entertainer when she was 20 years old and would develop a correspondence with the star not too long after. The relationship ended after Navarro  picked her up from her hotel one evening and allegedly raping her in his car. The case had also been dismissed due to lack of evidence and reported inconsistencies from Cabanero's side.


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And then, of course, there were the allegations by Kat Alano. The former video jockey became a co-host of Wowowee once upon a time. Although she didn't explicitly call out the comedian, she did give away hints on her social media pages. The perpetrator, which she called "Rhymes with Wrong," allegedly drugged her, too.

Navarro, being one of the biggest comedians in the Philippines, has always found a way to evade criticism. Understandbly, his fans have found ways to defend him amidst the accusations. He's always had the benefit of the doubt, too, of course. Celebrities are powerful people. This is no surprise. Cornejo, at the peak of the issue, said she had been on the receiving end of death threats and the public's ire. Navarro, meanwhile, garnered mostly sympathy and support.

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In many cases, sexual assault allegations, put the burden on the victims, too. In reports by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center in the U.S., the prevalence of false reporting on sexual assault is between two and 10 percent only of all reported cases. In some rape claims dismissed by the police, the allegations are only "false" because of the lack of evidence to prosecute.

Even with the case dismissals, Navarro's past cases show a troubling and glaring pattern. This latest  instance of the reopening of Cornejo's case serves as a reminder that the star has always evaded accountability for his actions in the past. Navarro's camp has the right to consistently deny and dismiss any and all allegations against him; in fact, his team doesn't even have to do much as his fans and followers stand squarely by his side. 

Even Navarro's friends in the business have been awfully quiet, which becomes even more pronounced considering the gravity of the allegations. It may be a while before the case reaches its resolution, but Cornejo, and, yes, even Navarro, should take comfort in the fact that at least, no matter how slow, the wheels of justice are finally turning.

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