MANILA – The camp of Vhong Navarro welcomed Deniece Cornejo's decision to surrender, saying it will give them the opportunity to show the strength of their evidence against the accused.
Cornejo is charged with the crimes of grave coercion and serious illegal detention -- a non-bailable offense -- in connection with Navarro’s mauling at her condominium unit in Taguig City last January 22.
The model already posted a P12,000 bail for the grave coercion charge and one of her lawyers said they are planning to file a petition for bail in the crime of serious illegal detention for supposed lack of evidence against the accused.
Asked about this, Navarro’s lawyer, Atty. Alma Mallonga told “Umagang Kay Ganda” on Tuesday that the petition for bail will solely depend on the court’s appreciation of the evidence against Cornejo which they will present.
“Dito sa ganitong okasyon where there is a petition for bail, it is really the purview of the prosecution to show that the evidence is strong to support the continued detention and the denial of bail for the accused… As I said, we are being very careful about what we say, about the strength of the evidence against any of the accused because that is a matter that is solely directed right now to the discretion of the court,” she said.
Model Deniece Cornejo (wearing cap), one of five people charged with serious illegal detention in connection with the January 22 mauling of actor Vhong Navarro, surrenders to police at Camp Crame on Monday. Accompanying Cornejo (left) is granduncle Rod. Photo: ABS-CBN News
Nonetheless, Mallonga believes Cornejo’s surrender is a positive development in their legal battle.
“Yung pag-surrender ni Deniece ay importante siguro because iyon ay isang mahalagang bahagi ng proseso para lalong maging maganda ang takbo ng kaso… Unless you are arraigned, hindi tayo pwede mag-proceed to trial with respect to the particular accused,” she said.
Among the five people charged with the crime of serious illegal detention, only Cedric Lee and Zimmer Raz have been arraigned following their capture in Samar two weeks ago.
Asked if she saw remorse in Cornejo’s face when she showed up at Camp Crama on Monday, Mallonga said, “Hindi ko kasi nakita, hindi ako nakapanood ng balita kahapon.”