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Court finds Cedric Lee, Deniece Cornejo guilty of detaining Vhong Navarro 

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Businessman Cedric Lee, model Deniece Cornejo, and two others were found guilty on Thursday, May 2, of serious illegal detention for ransom in the case brought by actor-comedian Vhong Navarro, according to the ruling of the Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC). 

The court sentenced Cedric, Deniece, Ferdinand Guerrero, and Simeon Palma Raz to reclusion perpetua after they were “found guilty beyond reasonable doubt,” a non-bailable offense, and sentenced to 40 years of imprisonment. However, Cedric and Deniece can still file an appeal against the court’s decision.

According to ABS-CBN’s report, Vhong’s lawyer, Atty. Alma Mallong stated that the court had ordered Deniece to be promptly detained. While Cedric was absent during the promulgation, and the court has already issued a warrant for his arrest.

“The aforementioned accused are further ordered to pay, jointly and severally, private complainant Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro the amounts of Php100,000.00 as civil indemnity; Php100,000.00 as moral damages; and Php100,000.00 as exemplary damages,” the Taguig RTC said in its ruling on Vhong’s case.

In 2014, the “It’s Showtime” host accused the camp Cedric of serious illegal detention when they mauled him and allegedly threatened to kill him on January 22, 2014, in Deniece’s condominium unit in Taguig City. Vhong also said that Cedric demanded him to pay P2 million in exchange for his release. The comedian agreed to give P1 million instead.

Cedric, on the other hand, claimed that the reason for the detention was because Vhong attempted to rape Deniece and filed a motion to dismiss the case. The Taguig court denied the motion on which Cedric took the case to the Court of Appeals. The RTC then continued with the trial between Vhong and Cedric’s camp, leading to the ruling today of finding the accused guilty.

As of writing, the host has yet to release a statement regarding the court’s ruling for his serious illegal detention case against Lee.

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