MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed before a Taguig court charges of serious illegal detention and grave coercion against businessman Cedric Lee and his camp over the mauling of ABS-CBN comedian-host Vhong Navarro.
Prosecutor General Claro Arellano said in a text message the charges were filed Thursday afternoon, April 10.
In a 42-page consolidated resolution dated April 4 but released Thursday, the DOJ investigating panel found probable cause to indict Lee, his sister Bernice, Deniece Cornejo, Zimmer Raz, JP Calma, Ferdinand Guerrero, and Jed Fernandez.
While the 7 were charged with serious illegal detention and grave coercion, the DOJ dismissed the charge of threatening to publish and offer to prevent publication for compensation against them.
Watch this report below.
Charges of serious physical injuries, grave threats, and illegal arrest were “deemed absorbed” under the charge for serious illegal detention.
The all-female investigating panel that recommended the filing of charges is composed of Assistant Prosecutor Olivia Torrevillas, Assistant Prosecutor Hazel C. Decena-Valdez, and Assistant Prosecutor Marie Elvira B Herrera.
The charges stem from the beating of Navarro, which Lee’s camp claims to be an act of citizen’s arrest. Navarro allegedly raped Cornejo for less than a minute. (READ: Cornejo: Rape can happen in a minute, cites SC ruling)
In the same resolution, the panel dismissed Cornejo’s rape charge against Navarro.
The mauling incident occurred on January 22 at a condominium unit in Forbeswood Heights Condominium in Taguig City, supposedly owned by one Soledad Ramos and was leased to Cornejo. – Rappler.com