The Court of Appeals (CA) Special Fourth Division deferred ruling on businessman Cedric Lee’s and model Deniece Cornejo’s plea for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) or a writ of preliminary injunction (WPI) which seeks to stop the Department of Justice (DOJ) from proceeding with the preliminary investigation of the charges filed against the two by actor-comedian Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro.
The CA, in a resolution penned by CA Associate Justice Leocia Dimagiba, instead, directed Prosecutor-General Claro Arellano and other respondents in the petition “to file comment/s to the petition and the supplemental petition… incorporating therein arguments on why the temporary restraining order/writ of preliminary injunction prayed for should not be granted.”
The said directive was included in the order of the cited CA division which granted Lee’s and Cornejo’s motion for leave to admit their supplemental petition for certiorari and prohibition with plea for restraining order dated March 4, 2014.
State prosecutors were given 10 days from receipt of notice of the said order within which to file their comment or opposition to the plea for the issuance of the said injunctive writs.
Lee’s camp, on the other hand, was given by the CA five days from the receipt of the cited comment to file a reply.
The appellate court would then rule on the plea for the issuance of a TRO/WPI after receiving the cited pleadings.
Concurring with the resolution were Associate Justices Ricardo Rosario and Mario Lopez.
The DOJ has already filed the charges for serious illegal detention and grave coercion against Lee and Deniece Cornejo, as well as five other respondents before the Taguig City Regional Trial Court (RTC).
In the consolidated resolution dated April 4, 2014 which was approved by the Prosecutor-General and signed by members of the panel composed of Assistant State Prosecutors Olivia Torrevillas, Hazel Decena-Valdez, and Mari Elvira Herrera, who investigated the case, probable cause was found – prompting the filing in court of the cited criminal charges against the seven respondents.
Also charged for serious illegal detention and grave coercion were Bernice Lee, Simeon Raz, Jose Paolo Calma, Ferdinand Guerrero and Jed Fernandez.
The three elements were found in the case for serious illegal detention in the complaint filed by Navarro, including deprivation of liberty and infliction of serious physical injuries.
Meanwhile, the DOJ dismissed the rape case filed by Cornejo against Navarro.