Businessman Cedric Lee and Simeon “Zimmer” Raz, suspects in the mauling of television host-actor Vhong Navarro, will seek bail even if the serious illegal detention complaint against them is a non-bailable offense.
Clad in orange shirts and handcuffed, the two refused to answer questions from reporters. Instead, their lawyer, Howard Calleja, said they will file a petition for bail although the case serious illegal detention is non-bailable.
Calleja maintained that Lee and Raz surrendered to the NBI agents. If the court accepts this, their voluntary surrender could be a mitigating circumstance, which might lower the penalty should the two accused be proven guilty.
The two were temporarily detained at NBI headquarters in Manila pending the decision of the Taguig court hearing their case. Calleja, however, wanted them to stay in NBI cells.
Lee and Raz were escorted by NBI agents to Manila from Tacloban Airport after they were allegedly captured in a nearby town.
The two, together with model Deniece Cornejo and four others, were charged with serious illegal detention in connection with the mauling of Navarro in January at a condominium in Taguig City.
Lee’s sister Bernice was arrested earlier, but was released after posting bail. She is facing a separate grave coercion case.
Lee was taken to the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday to face his tax evasion charges after he was arrested by the authorities.
At the preliminary investigation at the DOJ, Lee was given until May 8 to submit his counter-affidavit in the P194.47-million tax evasion case.
Lee and one of his firms, Izumo Contractors Inc., was charged by Bureau of Internal Revenue with tax evasion for underdeclaration of income for taxable years 2006 up to 2009, and failure to pay the corresponding taxes.
According to Asst State Prosecutor Allan Stewart Mariano, the prosecutor conducting the probe, Lee was given an extension to file his answer since he was just arrested by the NBI.