Deniece Cornejo's grandfather: ‘I chose to believe her’

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Monday, February 3, 2014


RODRIGO Cornejo believed that his 22-year-old granddaughter, Deniece Cornejo, is the victim in the controversy involving the freelance model and television-comedian Vhong Navarro.

A college professor and a former employee of GMA Network Inc., Rodrigo's name was first mentioned in the news when Deniece shared a photo of them together with Kapuso Chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon on Facebook.

Gozon was initially thought to be Deniece's grandfather but the station immediately released a statement refuting the CEO's connection with the young stylist.

Rodrigo said on Sunday that he's speaking now because there are too many hurtful words thrown at his granddaughter.

"Masakit kasi hindi maganda ang mga sinasabi. Siya ang biktima. Nakikita ko na parang helpless. Mag mula nung lumaki ang issue na ito, puro negative, wala magandang sinabi tungkol sa kanya," he said in an exclusive interview by "Buzz ng Bayan."

Rodrigo said that before granting the interview, he spoke to Deniece and asked her about the truth. He said the model denied having romantic relationship with businessman Cedric Lee, who is facing criminal charges for mauling Navarro, and claims the actor made sexual advances on her.

"I looked her at the eyes, 'May relasyon ba kayo (ni Cedric Lee)? Wala, Lolo. Yung charge mo totoo ba yun? Sabi niya, yes, lolo'. I chose to believe her."

Rodrigo said Deniece's initially decided not to file a rape charge against Navarro when they reported the incident at the Southern Police District in Taguig City on January 22.

"According to her, the man pleaded for mercy," he said.

Amid the controversy, Rodrigo said he feels sorry for Deniece's parents who are also dragged in the issue.

"Deniece is worried at ayaw na niyang mapahamak sila. She told me, 'Kaya ko ito. Wag muna kayo makialam," he said. "Masakit yun. I feel sorry for her parents, especially for her dad who is abroad. Sino bang gustong mangyari ito."

In the end, Rodrigo said one should know first his granddaughter before casting the first stone.

He described her as a "lovely person," who has a "beautiful heart" and determined to make something for herself.

"Isang siyang babae na gustong patunayan kung ano ang kakayahan niya. She's the type na gustong umunlad dahil sa kanyang pagsisikap. Alam niya kung anong gusto niya, medyo matapang, at determinado."

Rodrigo believed that knowing the real Deniece will make a big difference in the story.

"Just as people should know who Vhong Navarro is. He attempted to rape her and I believe her," he said. (Sunnex)

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