DOJ ready to give lookout order vs Cedric, Deniece

Posted at 01/29/14 3:01 PM

MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) is ready to issue a Lookout Bulletin Order (LBO) against businessman Cedric Lee and Deniece Millet Cornejo, both charged for the mauling of actor/TV host Vhong Navarro, in the wake of reports both booked a flight for Singapore for the first week of February.

"Just waiting for a formal request from either [National Bureau of Investigation] or Vhong Navarro's camp," Justice Secretary Leila De Lima said in a text message to reporters.

An LBO directs immigration officers in all ports of exit in the country to be on alert for the possible flight of subject individuals but will not prevent the subject from leaving the country if he/she has no pending warrant of arrest or pending case before the courts.

The NBI, an attached agency of the DOJ, is a public complainant in the complaint for serious physical injuries, grave threat, grave coercion, unlawful arrest, blackmail, and serious illegal detention, which is a non-bailable offense, filed by Navarro against Lee and several others.

Navarro accused Lee and Cornejo's group of mauling him last Wednesday night, and attempting to extort P1 million from him.

Lee and Cornejo, meantime, claimed the mauling incident stemmed from Navarro's attempt to rape Cornejo inside her condominium unit in Taguig City, an allegation Navarro vehemently denies.

Navarro's lawyer, Atty Dennis Manalo, met with Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano on Wednesday but refused to give details about the meeting which was also attended by DOJ Witness Protection Program (WPP) Acting Director Martin Menez.

Justiniano and Menez were also tight-lipped about the meeting which lasted for over an hour.

Pressed by the media, Manalo said the meeting had nothing to do with Navarro's case against businessman Cedric Lee and Deniece Millet Cornejo.

"No connection at all, no relation at all. It has nothing to do with the [Navarro] case at all. It's [about] a different case, a totally different case," Manalo said.

Manalo said Navarro's camp is mulling the possibility of requesting for WPP protection.

"May mga threats siguro after what he went through. We're going to go through that process (protection) later," he said.

A well-placed ABS-CBN News source bared that what took place was "exploratory talks" for the possible protection by the WPP of Navarro.