JV Ejercito has problem with Cedric Lee's character

Posted at 01/29/2014 7:56 PM | Updated as of 01/30/2014 2:44 AM

JV stopped Lee from bagging San Juan contract

MANILA - Sen. Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito admitted Wednesday that he has a problem with businessman Cedric Lee's "character", enough to block Lee's bid for the construction of San Juan's city hall when he was still mayor.

In an interview, Ejercito said Lee used to be his schoolmate in Xavier School in San Juan.

Ejercito was Xavier's HS batch 87, Lee was HS batch 88 while Sen. Sonny Angara was HS batch 89.

"Noong sa Xavier, tahimik lang yan (Cedric) kasi payat pa siya noon. Walang record na basagulero. Pero after college, iwas na ako sa ganoong mga karakter. Hindi kasi maganda ang background. Iwas na lang ako sa gulo," he said.

Ejercito confirmed Lee is a "kakilala" since they are neighbors in San Juan City.

However, he said they are not "barkadas."

"Nagkakasabay kami mag-jogging minsan pero hanggang ganun na lang yun...Para sa akin, very important ang character. Nakikita mo naman ang asta niya at yung kanyang mga kasamahan. Ayoko yung ganung klaseng mga karakter," he said.

Ejercito said he made sure that Lee and his partner, Tyrone Ong, did not get the contract for the construction of the new San Juan City Hall in 2001. Ejercito was mayor of San Juan at that time.

"Inabutan ko na kasi yung project nilang construction ng San Juan stadium. Pero after nun, di na namin binigay sa kanila ang city hall, kasi nga medyo iba ang karakter nila, ng mga kasamahan niya."

Lee and several of his friends are facing charges for mauling actor-comedian Vhong Navarro at a condo unit in The Fort Global City last January 22.

Lee confirmed beating up Navarro but said he chanced upon the comedian raping his friend, Deniece Cornejo. Navarro has denied the accusation and said he was set up by Lee and Cornejo.

CCTV footage from the condo, which was presented by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), has bolstered Navarro's explanation that no rape occurred on January 22. He said Cornejo quickly left her condo unit after he got inside the room. Lee then immediately went up after Navarro arrived, which means Lee could not have seen Navarro trying to rape Cornejo as he has alleged in media interviews.

Ejercito said he hopes for the immediate resolution of the case.

"Dapat bilisan ng [National Bureau of Investigation]. Ang hindi maganda talaga yung element ng torture at pinagtulungan," he said.

He added: "This will be a test case for the government na wala talagang above the law. Dapat ipakita rito na walang utak wangwang."

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, meanwhile, hopes for Vhong Navarro's full recovery soon.

"Magpagaling ka para makabalik ka na sa Showtime," he said.