Vhong Navarro and Cedric Lee. File Photo.
MANILA – The lawyer of Vhong Navarro said Cedric Lee, the alleged mastermind in the actor’s mauling, and others facing trial should be in jail, not in a special detention facility or hospital.
Lee and his co-accused Simeon “Zimmer” Raz were brought to Manila early Sunday morning after their arrest in Oras, Eastern Samar on Saturday.
In an interview on “Umagang Kay Ganda” Monday, Mallonga said Lee’s arrest indicates that they can continue with the case that Navarro filed against his attackers who beat him up and detained him on the night of January 22.
“It's very important... Siguro doon sa mga nagtatago pa rin at ayaw sumuko, it's also a signal na whether you like it or not, matutuloy po ang kaso, magkakaroon ng trial in this case,” she said.
Mallonga, however, said that the judicial process should strictly be followed.
“Sundan natin ang proseso. This is an opportunity to show everyone that the process can be followed right. Sundan natin ang rules. Where they should they be detained is not in the hospital, not in an air-conditioned room, not in the NBI headquarters. It should be in a prison. Yun ang rule so sundan natin,” she said.
On Sunday, Lee and Raz were brought to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters in Manila, where they will be processed.
The Taguig Regional Trial Court will determine where they will be detained. They will stay at the NBI Detention Facility temporarily.
When asked for her opinion about the possibility of model Deniece Cornejo turning state witness, Mallonga said, “In this particular instance, si Deniece is a major, major player. She was the reason kung bakit in the first place si Vhong ay pumunta sa kanyang condominium unit and kung bakit nangyari ang nangyari.”
Lee, Raz and Cornejo face criminal charges for grave coercion and serious illegal detention, the latter a non-bailable offense, along with two other suspects.
Lee’s sister, Bernice, and another accused JP Calma are facing a criminal charge of grave coercion.