Vhong Navarro Faces Cedric Lee, Deniece Cornejo In CourtVhong Navarro and the camp of Deniece Cornejo and Cedric Lee faced each other in court again for the grave coercion charges the TV host-actor filed against Deniece's and Cedric's group.
Judge Bernard Bernal of Branch 74 of the Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court suggested for both parties to undergo a judicial dispute resolution (JDR) first to see if the issue can be settled amicably. The JDR happened at the sala of Judge Marilou Tamang of Taguig-MTC's Branch 73.
Zimmer Raz, another accused in the crime, was also there to face Vhong.
It can be remembered that Vhong was mauled by Cedric's group in January of this year after he supposedly raped Deniece in her condo unit in Taguig City. The rape complaints were immediately dismissed while warrants of arrest were issued against Deniece, Cedric, Zimmer and their other cohorts because of grave coercion and serious illegal detention charges filed by the TV host-comedian.
After the hearing, the parties did not face the media to give any statements. Instead, their lawyers explained that they were not allowed to join the JDR proceedings. Instead, only the parties involved were allowed to face each other.
Atty. Salvador Panelo, Deniece's legal counsel, said the judge wanted to talk to the parties involved individually. Even family members were not allowed. Vhong, however, was allowed to bring one family member with him.
What happened inside was confidential, Atty. Panelo said.
Atty. Alma Mallonga, Vhong's lawyer, said that this was not an easy process for Vhong because every time he has to face a hearing about the case, he must also confront what happened to him.
He only remains strong because he wants to continue to fight against what happened to him.
She also revealed that Vhong is not open to settling the case with Deniece, Cedric and Zimmer. There is a hearing for JDR scheduled again on September 4 and October 2. Vhong is not required to attend the next hearings.
Atty. Panelo said they haven't heard this information from Vhong himself, and only Atty. Mallonga was saying that there will be no settlement of cases. Atty. Mallonga, however, said she is intelligent enough to know what her client wants.
Vhong will probably continue to articulate to the judge his decision, which is not to settle. She also said that they have no influence on the outcome of the case. It's out of their hands, the lawyer added.
Atty. Mallonga said as lawyers, they are just following the law and representing what they can present. They are merely participating in the process.
Deniece, on the other hand, said that she is open to hear an apology from Vhong. This was rejected by Atty. Mallonga.