The Department of Justice has found probable cause to advance the illegal detention and grave coercion cases filed by host-comedian Vhong Navarro against businessman Cedric Lee, Deniece Cornejo, Bernice Lee, Simeon Raz, Fedinand Guerrero, Jose Paolo Calma and Jed Fernandez.
In a report by ABS-CBN News on April 10, DOJ released a 42-page resolution dated April 4, 2014 citing that the It’s Showtime host was “deprived of its liberty” when he was held and assaulted at a condominium in Taguig last January 22, which is a primary element of the crime of serious illegal detention.
The DOJ likewise affirmed that the group “inflicted serious physical injuries and threatened” the Da Possessed star.
In addition, the department also recognized the fact that the group committed the crime for “purposes of extorting money or ransom” from Vhong in exchange of his liberty and that “they forced him to do acts against his will” hence the advancement of the grave coercion case.
Both serious illegal detention and grave coercion cases are non-bailable offences.
Meanwhile, the report noted that the other cases lodged by Vhong against Cedric and his camp such as serious physical injuries, grave threats and illegal arrest were already “absorbed” in the illegal detention charge.
The same DOJ resolution dismissed the rape charges of Deniece against Vhong citing that the crime couldn’t have been committed at such short period. The good news was tearfully received on-air by Vhong and his co-hosts on their show It’s Showtime.
The DOJ has filed Vhong’s case labeled Criminal Case 153705 against Cedric Lee and the others at the Taguig RTC earlier today.