Cedric Lee and Deniece Cornejo. Composite image
MANILA -- Despite being arrested last Saturday, businessman Cedric Lee appeared to be in high spirits and would even crack jokes about his co-accused, including model Deniece Cornejo, in the January 22 mauling of actor Vhong Navarro.
ABS-CBN News and other reporters were able to speak with Lee and co-accused Simeon "Zimmer" Raz on Sunday morning while they were being brought to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila, where they were processed and are currently detained.
Lee and Raz were arrested in Oras, Eastern Samar at 11:15 a.m. on Saturday, and arrived in Manila in handcuffs at 7:43 a.m. the following day.
Asked whether he knows the whereabouts of Cornejo, Lee said in jest, "Hindi ko po alam. Mabagal 'yon, hindi namin puwedeng isama! Excess baggage 'yon!"
Aside from Lee and Raz, arrest warrants for the non-bailable offense of serious illegal dentention were issued against Cornejo, Ferdinand Guerrero and Jed Fernandez -- who remain at large.
All five, plus Lee's sister Bernice and Jose Paolo Calma, were issued separate arrest warrants for grave coercion. Bernice, Cornejo and Fernandez earlier posted P12,000 bail each for the criminal offense. Calma, meanwhile, left the Philippines last April 10 despite a lookout bulletin order mentioning his name.
Lee and Raz, who both maintained that they surrendered to the NBI, were asked whether they would advise their other co-accused in the serious illegal detention case to do the same.
"It's really their prerogative," Raz said.
A smiling Lee added: "Baka ma-miss nila kami! Sumama sila sa amin!"