My Deniece Cornejo Pic

from right GMA network’s Special Assistant to the President Rod Cornejo with his niece Deniece Cornejo at Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza during the opening of the French Film Fest last June 3, 2010.  Photo by Jude Bautista

from right GMA network’s Special Assistant to the President Rod Cornejo with his niece Deniece Cornejo at Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza during the opening of the French Film Fest last June 3, 2010. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Hearing about Rod Cornejo’s interview with The BUZZ was like a splash of cold water. No one would make an immediate connection, even if he shared the same last name as Deniece Cornejo. I was fortunate enough to meet and photograph Rodrigo Cornejo who was also the Special Assistant to the Pres. in GMA Network some years back. I checked my own files and saw that I was able to shoot him with his grand niece Deniece Cornejo in 2010. As a teenager then she looked quite different.

from left French Audiovisual Attaché Martin Macalintal, Luis Manzano, Madeleine Humphries, Raymond Gutierrez and Robin Padilla at Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza during the opening of the French Film Fest last June 3, 2010.  Photo by Jude Bautista

from left French Audiovisual Attaché Martin Macalintal, Luis Manzano, Madeleine Humphries, Raymond Gutierrez and Robin Padilla at Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza during the opening of the French Film Fest last June 3, 2010. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mr. Cornejo is always very personable and modest. In nearly all of the events that I saw him he was with his wife Vangie. He seemed exceptionally humble especially for someone who is in a lofty position in the biggest TV network in the country. I would learn later on that he has one of the most impeccable reputations in the broadcast industry.

From right: GMA Special Assistant to the Pres. Rod Cornejo with wife Vangie and ABS CBN Corp Comm. Head Bong Osorio. Photo was taken during the 70’s themed Celebrity night performance of Mamma Mia! the musical last Jan 26, 2012 at the CCP main theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

From right: GMA Special Assistant to the Pres. Rod Cornejo with wife Vangie and ABS CBN Corp Comm. Head Bong Osorio. Photo was taken during the 70’s themed Celebrity night performance of Mamma Mia! the musical last Jan 26, 2012 at the CCP main theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mr. Cornejo confessed that he was envious of my job as I got to see the best shows. We often compared notes if he had seen this or that musical or concert, where I’d usually photograph him. BUT I would consistently see him in film festivals much like PDI’s late publisher Isagani Yambot. They both have a genuine love for cinema especially Filipino independent cinema.

from left: GMA network’s Special Assistant to the President Rod Cornejo and FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos. Photo was taken during the French Film Festival, which screens films for free from June 7-9, 2013 at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: GMA network’s Special Assistant to the President Rod Cornejo and FDCP Chairman Briccio Santos. Photo was taken during the French Film Festival, which screens films for free from June 7-9, 2013 at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3. Photo by Jude Bautista

After reviewing his statement to THE BUZZ (transcribed by philnews.ph), it was only natural that he defends the honor of his grand niece. It IS true the perception of the public on Deniece is no longer ideal with accusations from the camp of Vhong Navarro flying and vice versa.

Echo Rosales with Cristina Moricca of the Phil Italian Association at Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza during the opening of the French Film Fest last June 3, 2010.  Photo by Jude Bautista

Echo Rosales with Cristina Moricca of the Phil Italian Association at Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza during the opening of the French Film Fest last June 3, 2010. Photo by Jude Bautista

Rod has come to the defense of his grandniece in their accusation of rape against TV host and comedian Vhong Navarro. Public sympathies came to the side of Vhong after photos and video of him were posted online beaten black and blue by a certain Cedric Lee and his henchmen. And most recently with a video of Cedric smooching Deniece almost immediately after the ‘rape’ incident.

from right: SMART Mktg Services Mgr Ruth Taal, Radio High Chairman Francis Lumen, Columnist and Emcee Johnny Litton, GMA Special Assistant to the Pres. Rod Cornejo and Dr. Wilson Lim. Photo was taken during the 70’s themed Celebrity night performance of Mamma Mia! the musical last Jan 26, 2012 at the CCP main theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: SMART Mktg Services Mgr Ruth Taal, Radio High Chairman Francis Lumen, Columnist and Emcee Johnny Litton, GMA Special Assistant to the Pres. Rod Cornejo and Dr. Wilson Lim. Photo was taken during the 70’s themed Celebrity night performance of Mamma Mia! the musical last Jan 26, 2012 at the CCP main theater. Photo by Jude Bautista

One thing that seems obvious in THE BUZZ statement is that Mr. Cornejo may be discounting the possibility that Cedric Lee may have manipulated his grandniece.

Could it be that Deniece just ran with the wrong crowd in Cedric Lee who has had a bad track record with women? Lee has had extra marital affairs with showbiz personalities Patricia Javier and Vina Morales (with whom he has a love child).

from left French Cultural Counselor Christian Merer, French Audiovisual Attaché Martin Macalintal, Robin Padilla and KLM Commercial Dir. Caroline David at Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza during the opening of the French Film Fest last June 3, 2010.  Photo by Jude Bautista

from left French Cultural Counselor Christian Merer, French Audiovisual Attaché Martin Macalintal, Robin Padilla and KLM Commercial Dir. Caroline David at Shang Cineplex, Shang Plaza during the opening of the French Film Fest last June 3, 2010. Photo by Jude Bautista

For anyone who knows Patricia Javier and Vina Morales both are very strong minded, independent women. If Lee could have an extra marital relationship with them with hints of physical and mental abuse, how difficult would it be for him to control Deniece? Yes, Deniece may also be a victim in all of this but not with Vhong as the culprit.

from left: GMA’s Rod Cornejo with wife Angie and Arnel Ignacio at the 58th FAMAS held in the GSIS Teatro. Dec. 13, 2010. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: GMA’s Rod Cornejo with wife Angie and Arnel Ignacio at the 58th FAMAS held in the GSIS Teatro. Dec. 13, 2010. Photo by Jude Bautista

Young people are very impressionable. Deniece is just 22, she was just 18 when I photographed her in 2010. Cedric Lee has some very questionable history in his personal relationships and business dealings. Deniece has her parents abroad as Mr. Cornejo stated in the interview. She doesn’t have that objective voice or advice that may be able to discern the true nature and motives of someone like Cedric Lee. Instead of reinforcing the accusation of rape against Vhong, Mr. Cornejo should take a very close look at the ‘friendship’ of Deniece and Cedric.

I personally believe Mr. Cornejo’s pronouncements on Deniece’s character. He has put his unquestionable professional reputation on the line. That’s why he should be on the look out even more for the possibility that someone like Cedric Lee has wrongly influenced or even threatened her.

from left: Phl Star Online Editor Dexter Matilla of, GMA network’s Special Assistant to the President Rod Cornejo and Adrian Lontoc. Photo was taken during the French Film Festival, which screens films for free from June 7-9, 2013 at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Phl Star Online Editor Dexter Matilla of, GMA network’s Special Assistant to the President Rod Cornejo and Adrian Lontoc. Photo was taken during the French Film Festival, which screens films for free from June 7-9, 2013 at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 3. Photo by Jude Bautista

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