Coaccused set to testify vs Cedric Lee, Deniece Cornejo, et al. | Inquirer Entertainment

Coaccused set to testify vs Cedric Lee, Deniece Cornejo, et al.

Deniece Cornejo and Cedric Lee. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

One of the accused in the mauling of TV host-actor Vhong Navarro has turned himself in to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and applied to serve as state witness.

The accused is now under the custody of the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program (WPP), Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told reporters yesterday afternoon two hours after a Taguig court issued warrants for the arrest of businessman Cedric Lee, model Deniece Cornejo and three others for serious illegal detention involving Navarro.


“He’s now being handled by the WPP. This accused will be narrating the entire incident beginning with the planning made by the group, ‘Oplan Bugbog,’ [according to him],” De Lima said.

“He’s prepared to tell all. He’s now being assessed by the WPP,” she added.


De Lima declined to identify the potential state witness citing security reasons.

Arrest warrants out

Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte, director of the Southern Police District (SPD), said police agents fanned out on Monday to serve the warrants issued by Judge Paz Esperanza of the Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 271 on Lee, Cornejo, Sajed Fernandez Abuhijleh (aka Jed Fernandez), Simeon Palma Raz Jr. and Ferdinand Guerrero.

Villacorte said the SPD received the arrest warrants shortly after the court issued them.

The court issued no arrest warrants for Bernice Lee and Jose Paolo Gregorio Calma, who were also charged with serious illegal detention in the alleged attack on Navarro in Taguig City in January.

Grave coercion

Police also have outstanding warrants for the arrest of the seven accused for grave coercion. The warrants were issued before Holy Week by Judge Bernard Bernal of Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 74.


Cornejo and Fernandez posted P12,000 bail each for the grave coercion charge on April 16.

But Lee and the four other accused are in deeper trouble, as serious illegal detention is a nonbailable offense.

“We are about to serve the warrants,” Senior Supt. Arthur Felix Asis, Taguig police chief, told the Inquirer by phone.

The SPD, Taguig police and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group of the Philippine National Police have received the arrest warrants and can serve them any time, Asis said.

Accused cannot be found

But Asis was concerned that arresting officers may not find the accused in their homes.

“According to the information reaching us, the seven could no longer be found in their last declared residences since Holy Week,” Asis said.

Cornejo is known to have an apartment at the Forbeswood Heights Condominium in Fort Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, where the alleged attack on Navarro happened on Jan. 22.

Lee lives in San Juan City.

“We are still trying to determine their whereabouts,” Asis said.

Earlier, the accused tried to turn the tables on Navarro, with Cornejo bringing rape charges against the actor in the Department of Justice.

The DOJ, however, dismissed the complaint after finding no probable cause to prosecute Navarro.


Arrest warrants out vs. Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee, et al over serious illegal detention

Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team

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TAGS: Bernice Lee, Cedric Lee, Chief Supt. Jose Erwin Villacorte, Deniece Cornejo, Ferdinand Guerrero, grave coercion, Jed Fernandez, Jose Paolo Gregorio Calma, Judge Paz Esperanza, Sajed Fernandez Abuhijleh, serious illegal detention, Simeon Palma Raz Jr., Southern Police District, SPD, Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 271, Vhong Navarro
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