Vhong Navarro to Face Case Trial vs Deniece Cornejo via Videoconference
Actor and TV host Vhong Navarro will attend the entire case trial against Deniece Cornejo via videoconference.
The TV personality was arraigned by the court on October 11 via videoconference while he was still being held at the National Bureau of Investigation Detention Center in Manila. The Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office accused Navarro of raping Cornejo on January 17, 2014, in her Taguig condominium.
As a result of his refusal to enter a plea during the arraignment, the court entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. Due to a motion involving the issue that is still pending before the Supreme Court, Navarro did not enter a plea.
He remotely participated in both of the two bail hearings on October 13 and 17. Navarro’s attorney, Alma Mallonga, previously stated that the court made it plain that, going forward, her policy is that persons deprived of liberty (PDL), which includes Mr. Vhong Navarro, will appear through videoconferencing.
The TV presenter won’t show up in person in court for the duration of the r6pe trial, according to Mariglen Abraham Garduque, a supporting attorney in Navarro’s camp. This is because the matter is still under the pandemic. He will never show up in person, she continued.
On October 7, Navarro submitted a motion to the Taguig court asking for hearings to be held through videoconference prior to his arraignment. The Taguig RTC Branch 69 found in Navarro’s favor and granted his request in a ruling dated October 10, based on the report.
Navarro gave various explanations in his motion for why he didn’t want to show up there in person. The “significant distance between the court and the NBI holding facility” was one of his reasons.
In addition to saving money for his relocation from the NBI to the Taguig Hall of Justice, he claimed that his appearance via videoconference would act as a barrier against the spread of Covid-19. Additionally, Navarro informed the judge that he was a high-risk PDL who was allegedly a high-value target. As a result, he claimed, there is a threat to his safety as well as that of the court, its employees, and its litigants.
“Considering that the country is still under the pandemic brought about by the Covid-19 virus, and accused is still committed in a detention facility, his attendance via videoconferencing in the scheduled hearing on 11 October 2022 may be allowed, pursuant to Section I. 3(b)(v) of A.M. No. 20-12-01-SC.”
“Meanwhile, the attendance of counsels and other litigants in this case shall be in-court,” the Taguig court added.
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