Lawyer files motion to prevent arrest of Lee, Cornejo

Posted at 04/11/14 11:44 AM

MANILA - The laywer of model Deniece Cornejo and businessman Cedric Lee filed on Friday a motion for determination of probable cause in the serious illegal detention case filed against them.

The charge is in relation to the mauling of actor-host Vhong Navarro last January 22.

Atty. Howard Calleja filed the motion a day after the Department of Justice (DOJ) dismissed the rape complaint filed by Cornejo against Navarro.

According to the lawyer, their camp has yet to receive a copy of the resolution of the DOJ.

"Bagamat wala pa po kaming kopya [ng resolusyon] -- karamihan doon ay naririnig namin o nakuha namin sa mga ulat kahapon sa radyo at sa TV -- inagapan namin para naman siyempre mabigyan ng legal remedies ang aming kliyente," Calleja told reporters shortly after filing his motion at the Taguig Regional Trial Court.

"Ginagalang po namin 'yung resolusyon ng DOJ bagamat it doesn't mean we agree with the decision. Hindi naman ho kami kailangan sumang-ayon," he said.

Calleja said his motion includes the suspension of all proceedings, including the issuance of a warrant of arrest against his two clients.

The lawyer said it would be unfair to have the warrant of arrest issued against Lee and Cornejo in the coming weekend, adding that Holy Week break is fast approaching.

Calleja said the judge has ten days to review the information given by the DOJ in relation to their case.

"Hopefully, sana, bago mag-issue or bago umakto 'yung korte ay pag-aralan at tingnan kung tunay ngang may probable cause 'yung kasong ito," he said.

"Kasama po sa aming hinihiling na aming finile ngayon na sana ay walang i-issue o walang, kung meron naman, na ipatupad na warrant habang dinidinig itong aming mosyon," he added.

Calleja said does not know his clients' current whereabouts, but he was quick to add that he is in constant communication with them.

He stressed that Lee and his companions -- Cornejo, Bernice Lee, Simeon Raz, Ferdinand Guerrero, Jose Paolo Calma, and Jed Fernandez -- are "willing to face [the legal process] squarely all steps of the way."

Meanwhile, Navarro's legal counsel, Atty. Alma Mallonga, said the motion filed by Lee's camp is unnecessary, noting that a court automatically reviews any case for probable cause, especially if it is a non-bailable offense.

The Taguig RTC is scheduled to hear the motion on April 15. -- with reports from Doris Bigornia, ABS-CBN News; Zhander Cayabyab, DZMM