Roxanne Acosta Cabañero in an interview with Doris Bigornia on ABS-CBN, recalled the alleged rape committed by Vhong Navarro against her in 2010. Roxanne Acosta Cabanero, who is now 24 years old, and a Cebu resident said the alleged rape happened during her stint in a beauty pageant in Manila in April 24, 2010. She said she met Vhong Navarro when she and her fellow candidates, to promote the pageant, visited the studio of “It’s Showtime” which Vhong co-hosts.
“May babae kasi sa ‘Showtime,’ I don’t know her name, bigla lang niyang sinikreto, na puwede bang hingin ‘yung number. Hinihingi raw ‘yung number mo ni Mr. Vhong. Sabi ko, ‘Okay.’ And then I just gave my number to this girl.”
“Nadala lang siguro talaga ako kasi idol na idol ko siya. Siya iyung pinaka-unang artista na nakasama ko, na kinausap ako. Very first… And then ‘yon, nung kinausap niya ako… Nag-text siya sa akin. I can still remember the number. Sabi, ‘Hi, ito si Vhong. How are you?'”
“Vhong was texting me, texting me, texting me all throughout until nag-invite na nga siya sa akin lumabas. At first, gusto niyang pumasok sa hotel kung saan kami nag-stay (Astoria, Pasig). And then, sabi ko, ‘Hindi puwede, may mga kandidata, eh. Bawal din kasi kami magdala ng bisita dito at may curfew kami sa paglabas.’ Sabi niya, ‘Sige, I’ll pick you up na lang.'”
“So ayun, he picked me up. But during the conversation before pa niya ako i-pick up, tinatanong ko siya sa text, ‘Saan tayo pupunta?’ Sabi niya, ‘Diyan lang sa tabi-tabi.’ Sabi ko, ‘No, seriously, where?’ Sabi niya, ‘Let’s just talk about it over coffee. Nagtinginan kami, nagtawanan kami like 10 seconds. And then ‘yun… After no’n, sinabi niya sa akin, ‘Let’s go somewhere private.’ And I was shocked. I’m like, ‘What? I thought we were going to have coffee?’ Siyempre kinabahan na ako.”
Roxanne Cabanero said she was nervous because it was around 12 midnight. She then tearfully recalled how Vhong supposedly sexually assaulted her.
“Medyo madilim na, there’s no one. Wala nang masyadong tao… He pulled the car and he started doing what he was doing. He violated me, he threatened me. It was the most horrific moment of my life. I trusted him with his image na komedyante siya. It’s so unfair kasi I felt safe, and when he did that, he just turned into this monster.”
She was forced into the act for fear that Vhong Navarro and his bodyguards might have her killed. “Sabi niya, pag hindi ako mag-ano, may tao siya sa labas at sila na bahala pag umayaw ako… Pag umayaw ako, papatayin niya ako,”
Roxanne Acosta Cabanero was still in constant communication with Vhong afterwards via text message after the alleged rape in 2010 up until last year, 2013. She said she pretended to be “friendly” but away from him, as she feared he might get angry if she ignored him.
“I got a text from him on that night (of the alleged rape). He seemed friendly, from being a comedian, monster, and friendly. I stayed friends with him kasi takot ako. I just put that face na, ‘Okay, hindi ako magsasalita,’ kasi sabi niya, pag nagsalita ako, talo ako. Swerte pa nga raw at k***** pa niya ako. Sikat na ako.’ Takot ako sa kanya. And as much as possible, ayokong lumapit sa kanya, kasi I know if lalapit ulit ako sa kanya… We don’t know kung anong gagawin na naman niya sa akin. So I just stayed friendly, but away from him.”
When she heard of the January 22 incident involving Vhong Navarro and Deniece Cornejo, she was shocked and was then inspired to follow suit Deniece’s courage. “And then when I heard about Deniece’s situation, na-inspire ako sa kanya. Noong nalaman ko ‘yung storya tungkol kay Deniece, everything, lahat ng nangyari nag-flash back sa akin… Isang buong araw, I was crying. So after three days, I told my boyfriend. Naghanap na kami ng tao na puwede na malapitan. And it so happened that a good friend of mine knows Mr. Batalla,” she said, referring to her lawyer.
She denies having ties with Cedric Lee and Deniece Cornejo and denies being paid by Cedric Lee. “Hindi ko sila kilala. And as much as possible, ayokong maapektuhan ang kaso ko dahil dito. Ayokong ma-link sa kanila. ‘Yung kaso ko, kaso ko. Sa kanila, sa kanila. Hindi ko nga siya kilala. Paano niya ako babayaran? And if he ever comes up to me, I’ll say, ‘Please, huwag mo muna ako lapitan. Let me finish this one and then you can talk to me if you want to talk to me.'”
She also denies doing this for publicity, to enter showbiz. “Wala kasi akong plano mag-artista o maging politician or whatever. This is not about being famous. I’m seeking justice, that’s what I want.”
“Magduda sila. Basta ako, wala akong pakialam sa kanila, kay Cedric o Deniece. Basta sa akin, sa akin. I’m here for one thing, justice. And this is my way to heal, kasi hindi ko na talaga kaya. I cannot. I need to move one with my life. This is like a ghost na sunod nang sunod sa akin, haunting me, every night.”
She said she has her family and boyfriend’s support in this legal battle. “I’ve talked to my parents, my boyfriend kung desidido na ba talaga ako. This is going to be really, really tough, a bloody war. And I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ That’s why I’m here. Kung hindi ako lumabas, kailan pa? I cannot keep this forever. I want to face it. I’ve been living in fear for four years at takot na ako matakot. Ayoko na maging sheep, tupa na palagi nalang susunud-sunod at natatakot.”
She also refuse to give any message to Vhong. “Wala akong message. I’ll just see him in court. Gusto ko siyang makita sa korte. At doon na siya mag-message. Not trying to be sarcastic, but if he wants to say something, sabihin niya na lang doon.”
She said she wants an apology from Vhong. Doris Bigornia then asked her, if she wants to see Vhong in jail, she did not answer.