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Vhong Navarro faces new rape charges

vhong navarroA certain Roxanne Cabañero y Acosta, 24, has filed rape charges against comedian Vhong Navarro at the Pasig City Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday. The new complaint came amid the controversy involving the It's Showtime host and aspiring actress Deniece Cornejo, who has accused the actor of raping her in her condominium unit at The Fort, Taguig City on January 22.

In a phone interview aired on Aquino and Abunda Tonight on Wednesday night, Atty. Virgilio Battala, legal counsel to Cabañero, said the alleged rape incident happened in 2010. When asked why it took several years before his client decided to file the complaint, Batalla said rape victims has 20 years to file charges.

"Ang biktima po ng rape ay may 20 taon para mag-file ng kaso. At ang kliyente ko ay 4 na taon lamang (pagkatapos noong nangyari), kaya hindi gaano katagal iyon," the lawyer said.

Batalla, who claims to be the chairman of Lingap Pinoy Foundation which provides free legal services to indigents, said Cabañero came to him for help because she got inspired from Deniece's case against Vhong. He added that his client only wants to stop Vhong from victimizing more women.

In a radio interview with Noli de Castro this morning, Batalla kept his silence when asked about Cabañero's connection to Cedric Lee, the alleged leader of a gang of men who beat Navarro in Deniece's condominium on January 22. He said his client did not give any information regarding the issue.

Cabanero has yet to come out in the open and speak about her allegations. According to reports, Roxanne joined several beauty pageants including Ms. Resorts World 2010 and Miss Bikini Philippines. She was also one of the contestants of the Binibining Pilipinas Pageant in 2011 but was disqualified after nude photos of her posted in a porn site surfaced.

Meanwhile, Vhong Navarro's camp downplayed the new rape complaint. According to the comedian's lead counsel, Atty. Alma Mallonga, the filling of the new rape case was "not unexpected" as Cedric has been saying, since the beginning of the controversy, that other alleged "victims" of Vhong has been reaching out to him.

Mallonga added that Vhong is aware of the new case and is keen on facing the charges and proving his innocence.

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