Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee and Jed Fernandez (Real name: Sajed Fernandez Abuhijleh) was convicted guilty of grave coercion in connection with the Vhong Navarro mauling case. The three suspects were sentenced to imprisonment, with a minimum of six months and a maximum of three years and six months in prison.
Metropolitan Trial Court of Taguig Branch 74 , presided by Judge Bernard Pineda Berna released the dispositive portion of the ruling which reads:
“WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered finding accused DENIECE MILLINETTE CORNEJO, CEDRIC CUA LEE, and SAJED FERNANDEZ ABUHIJLEH a.k.a. JED FERNANDEZ GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the crime of Grave Coercion and, applying the Indeterminate Sentence Law, sentences them to suffer the indeterminate penalty of six (6) months of arresto mayor as minimum, to three (3) years and six (6) months of prison correccional medium as maximum. The period of their preventive imprisonment shall be credited to the service of their sentence. No pronouncement as to costs.”.
The female companion named Bernice Cua Lee (a.k.a Marie, sister of businessman Cedric Lee ,who was present during the assault incident of Vhong Navarro was acquitted due to reasonable doubt.
When the verdict was announced, Vhong was out of the country for “It’s Showtime” event in Los Angeles, California. In an interview with ABS-CBN, he said-
“Sobrang saya kasi ito ‘yung justice na hinihintay natin eh…Parang bumabalik sa alaala ko ‘yung mga pinaggagawa sa akin, puwersahan kang pinapirma sa hindi mo naman kagustuhan, tinakot ka, sinaktan ka, binantaan ang pamilya mo, tinutukan ka ng baril.”
In 2014, Deniece Cornejo filed two counts rape and one count attempted rape against Vhong Navarro. However DOJ dismissed the case in 2017 for lack of probable cause. (Read: DOJ dismiss Vhong Navarro rape case)