Deniece's life in danger, Topacio claims


Posted at Aug 08 2014 01:29 AM | Updated as of Aug 09 2014 01:25 AM

Cedric Lee (left) and Deniece Cornejo (center) emerge from the Taguig Regional Trial Court after their bail petition hearing last May 16 for the serious illegal detention of Vhong Navarro (right). Photos by Jonathan Cellona for

MANILA - Detained model Deniece Cornejo believes there is a "danger to her life" at Camp Bagong Diwa, where she is set to be detained after a Taguig court denied her petition to stay at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

In a live interview on "Aquino & Abunda Tonight," Cornejo family lawyer Ferdinand Topacio explained why the controversial model prefers to be detained at the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group center.

Cedric Lee and Simeon Raz, Jr., Cornejo's co-accused in the January 22 mauling of actor Vhong Navarro, were transferred on Wednesday to Camp Bagong Diwa from the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila.

All three are charged with serious illegal detention and grave coercion.

"Unang-una po, 'yung danger po sa life," Topacio said. "Siyempre, si Mr. Vhong Navarro, may mga fans po 'yan. Baka po siya buweltahan."

"Secondly po, ito naman po ay detention prisoner lamang. Siya po ay nakakulong hindi bilang parusa, ngunit dahil wala pa po siyang pinapayagang bail at siya po ay nililitis. Hindi pa po kaparusahan 'to. Hindi pa siya nako-convict," he said.

Topacio added that their camp is "banking on the presumption of innocence and the right of every person under detention for her safety."

For now, Cornejo is still detained at Camp Crame, pending the decision on a motion for reconsideration she had filed.

Asked whether Cornejo is enjoying "special treatment" in her current detention facility, Topacio described his client's situation, which he saw personally the first time he visited.

"If you will look at the condition noong kanyang detention area, sinasabi nila may aircon. Meron nga pong aircon, pero we're at the wrong end of the aircon. Kami 'yung binubugahan ng mainit.

"And 'yung other side naman ay kitchen, so you can just imagine. Ako nga po, the first time I visited, namalat po ako, eh, because of the heat," he said.

Meanwhile, Topacio declined to comment on the rape cases filed by Cornejo against Navarro, which have both been dismissed, saying he is not the lawyer handling them.