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Vhong Navarro Finds Closure: Justice Prevails

After a decade-long legal battle, actor and TV personality Vhong Navarro expressed relief as justice was finally served. Businessman Cedric Lee, model Deniece Cornejo, and two others were declared “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” for the serious illegal detention case Navarro had filed against them.

On a recent episode of “It’s Showtime,” Navarro seized the moment to extend his gratitude to those who stood by him during this challenging period.

“First and foremost, I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude. Thank you, Lord, for always being my guiding light. Amid life’s trials and tribulations, you have been my constant support,” Navarro expressed emotionally.

He further acknowledged the Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 513 for their unwavering commitment to upholding justice.

Navarro also praised his legal team, headed by Alma Mallonga, for their unwavering dedication throughout the legal proceedings. He also thanked ABS-CBN executives, his talent manager director Chito Roño, Streetboys, and friends for their continuous support from the outset, which provided him immense strength.

Despite facing negative rumors and criticisms, Navarro conveyed heartfelt appreciation to his fans and “It’s Showtime” family.

He concluded his speech by expressing profound gratitude to his family, especially his wife Tanya Bautista.

In a comprehensive 94-page decision, the Taguig RTC Branch 153, under Judge Mariam Guzon Bien, pronounced Lee, Cornejo, Ferdinand Guerrero, and Simeon Raz guilty beyond reasonable doubt of serious illegal detention for ransom under Article 267 of the Revised Penal Code. They were sentenced to reclusion perpetua, which carries a maximum of 40 years of imprisonment, and their bail bond was revoked.

“The accused’s deliberate planning and actions to restrain Vhong Navarro for extortion are glaringly evident. Their agreement is discerned from their behavior before, during, and after the crime,” the court stated.

Cornejo and Raz, present at the verdict, were immediately taken into custody. An arrest warrant was issued for Lee and Guerrero, who were absent during the pronouncement.

Navarro had accused Lee of detaining him in a Taguig City condominium on Jan. 22, 2014. Allegedly, Lee and his associates assaulted Navarro and demanded a ransom of P2 million, with Navarro agreeing to pay P1 million.

Cornejo had accused Navarro of attempted rape, a claim used by Lee to justify the assault. However, CCTV footage contradicted Cornejo’s account.

Navarro’s legal team argued against the feasibility of the alleged assault, leading to Lee’s unsuccessful attempts to dismiss the case.

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