Wife defends husband over sex assault charge
By Lui Queaño
TORONTO–Joanna Corpuz, the President and CEO of immigration and fingerprinting business Gino International, and the wife of embattled businessman Eugene Deocareza, defended her husband and denied all allegations that her husband sexually assaulted anyone.
Eugene Deocareza, 47, was arrested and charged by Toronto Police Service Monday, March 13, with one count of sexual assault for allegedly assaulting a 28-year old woman. The woman claimed she was sexually assaulted while her passport photo was being taken in the Bathurst-Wilson area on Saturday, March 11.
Deocareza was ordered to appear in court on April 27 to answer the accusation against him, the Toronto Police news release said.
In a phone conversation on Wednesday, March 22, Deocareza’s wife maintained that her husband was innocent and denied the allegation. “We just want the truth to come out. Wala po kaming itinatago (We are not hiding anything). We are in good faith na wala siyang ginawa (he did not do anything). We’ve been doing business for a long time. Don’t worry lahat ginagawa ng lawyer namin dahil wala naman siyang ginawang masama (our lawyer is doing everything because he did not do anything bad),” Corpuz said.
Despite the accusation against her husband, Corpuz said her family is very much supportive and full of love for Deocareza. “Hindi naman po siya guilty kung anong mga accusations ang sinasabi nila sa kanya. Kung anuman ang iniisip nilang masama.. sa ibang tao maraming nag-iisip ng masama sa amin. Dahil umangat na kami.. yun lang. Noon po walang-wala po kami, nagsikap lang po kami para tumulong sa ibang tao. Wala po kaming ginagawang masama. (He is not guilty of the accusations. Whatever they think bad of him… other people suspect us of bad things. Because we have already lifted ourselves from before… that’s it. Before we had nothing, we tried our best to help other people. We’re not doing anything bad.)” Corpuz added.
Many in the Filipino community have been following the Deocareza saga after his arrest in Bathurst-Wilson area — the site of the famous Taste of Manila (TOM) food festival. Deocareza was a former board member of TOM and was an appointed auditor by its chair and founder Rolly Mangante.
Mangante, however, belied reports that Deocareza is still a member of his group Taste of Manila (TOM) but he admitted that for a time he was once an officer of the organization and later quit from his post.
“Actually ang performance niya ay regular lang naman. He participated as our board of director. Aside from board of director, siya ang in-assign kong auditor ng Taste of Manila. He’s doing his job before pero small short time lang naman kami. He did not stay… na ibig sabihin maliit lang naman ang pagsasama namin. Dahil nagkaroon na nga nang alegasyon… yung nagkaroon siya ng hindi magandang ano.. especially doon sa aming Board of Director na si Bong Capitin. Meron siyang hinaharap na cases dito kay Bong Capitin one of our Board of Director also. Nasa kaso pa,” said Mangante.
In January 2015 Deocareza quit from being one of the directors of TOM for unknown reasons. Later in March of 2015, Deocareza allegedly barged in the TOM office on Bathurst and Wilson, looking for Mangante and created a commotion in an ongoing meeting. The two have been friends and business partners for years but the relationship turned sour after the incident.
“I do not talk to him. He doesn’t talk to us. Wala na po siyang relasyon sa (he has no relationship with) Taste of Manila. Ang masasabi lang namin (what we can say) as a community, we watch the television on CP24. Doon na lang po ang binabasehan naming kung ano po ang kalagayan niya (we rely on that on his condition). Doon na lang po kami nag-rely na may ginawa siya (we rely on that that he did something) because of the published report of the Toronto Police doon po sa kanyang alegasyon na yan (about that allegation),” said Mangante.
Recent published news reports claimed that Deocareza is an officer or former officer of the Philippine Press Club of Ontario (PPCO). PPCO President Rose Tijam could not be reached for comment.
On June 2, 2012, Deocareza was elected member of the PPCO board of directors, according to a news item from The Philippine Reporter website. Shortly afterwards, Deocareza, with other officers under the presidency of Ricky Caluen, resigned from his position and has not been an active member of the press association, according to reliable sources in PPCO.
“It’s been observed that stories coming from a couple of critics of PPCO had emphasized Deocareza’s involvement with PPCO while ignoring the fact that he resigned his position in PPCO many years ago. In fact, he has not been active in the events of PPCO for years too,” said an active member of PPCO who preferred not to be identified.
“In their recent stories, they intentionally omitted mentioning the fact that Deocareza was a board member of Taste of Manila until January 2015, while he ceased being an officer of PPCO shortly after he was elected in June 2012, which they did not mention. It only shows their malicious intent to malign the PPCO while currying favors with another group,” the PPCO member added.