Cedric Lee arrested

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Saturday, April 26, 2014

MANILA (Updated) -- Businessman Cedric Lee and another accused in the alleged mauling of comedian/host Vhong Navarro were served with arrest warrants on Saturday, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said.

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima confirmed in a text message that Lee and another accused, Zimmer Raz, were arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) around 11:15 a.m. Saturday in the remote area of Oras, Eastern Samar.

Lee and Raz were arrested for serious illegal detention and grave coercion cases in relation to the mauling incident at a luxury condominium in Taguig City last January 22.

The two accused will be detained at the NBI facility in Manila, de Lima said.

"My instruction is for them to be brought to Manila ASAP. They will be detained first at the NBI detention facility pending the commitment order from RTC-Taguig," de Lima said.

The arrest warrants for grave coercion cases were issued by the Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court branch 74 against Lee, Raz, model/stylist Deniece Cornejo, Bernice Lee, Jed Fernandez, Ferdinand Guerrero and Jose Paolo Calma last April 11.

Cornejo, Bernice Lee and Fernandez were able to post P12,000 bail for their temporary freedom.

A separate warrant for serious illegal detention, a non-bailable offense, was then issued by the Taguig Regional Trial Court branch 271 last April 15 for the accused, except Bernice Lee and Calma.

Earlier, a television report said a certain Cedric Lee booked a flight for Dubai on April 12 but it was subsequently cancelled.

Lee, whose group beat up Navarro at a condominium unit in Taguig, had said he has no plan to leave the country and run away from the cases.

Navarro's lawyer, Alma Mallonga, meanwhile expressed confidence that the rest of the accused will be arrested soon.

"We are very thankful and grateful to the NBI, PNP (Philippine National Police) for doing their job well in effecting the arrest of Lee and Raz," she said. "The case can now proceed. Trial can commence soon so that we reach the end of the process to conclude the quest of justice for Vhong." (Glaiza Jarloc/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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