Vhong Navarro, Deniece Cornejo and Cedric Lee. (Composite Photo)
MANILA - Vhong Navarro's lawyer, Alma Mallonga, said on Friday her client is gearing up for an anticipated intensified campaign to discredit him, in the wake of the filing of criminal charges in court against Cedric Lee, Deniece Cornejo, and 5 others.
The case stems from the illegal detention and mauling of Navarro inside Cornejo's Forbeswood Heights Condominium last Jan. 22.
In a text message, Mallonga says that while their camp hails the Department of Justice's (DOJ) finding of probable cause against Lee, Cornejo, Bernice Lee, Simeon Raz, Jose Paolo Calma, Ferdinand Guerrero, and Jed Fernandez on charges of serious illegal detention, a non-bailable offense, and grave coercion, they will remain vigilant for the challenges up ahead.
"The filing of charges against Cedric Lee and others is a crucial first step in obtaining justice for Vhong. He is keenly aware that this initial victory is not only for him but for other victims of crimes, against those who think themselves above the law. But while we are happy, we remain vigilant. There will be more challenges ahead, more efforts to discredit Vhong, hence more work for everyone involved," she said.
"We will prepare, we will remain focused. Hindi kami mapapagod, hindi kami patatalo sa takot. We will not stop until we reach the ultimate goal - the punishment of those who are proven to be criminals."
Three rape complaints have been filed against Navarro after the mauling incident, the first of which has been dismissed.
In a 42-page resolution, dated April 4, the DOJ recommended the indictment of Cedric Lee, et al., and junked the rape complaint filed by Cornejo against the movie and television actor and host.
The criminal cases were filed on Thursday with the Taguig Regional Trial Court (RTC).