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NBI fails to arrest Cedric Lee in San Juan

(Updated 1:36 a.m., April 22, 2014) National Bureau of Investigation agents on Monday night trooped to Cedric Lee's West Greenhills, San Juan address to arrest him in connection with the mauling of TV host-actor Vhong Navarro last January 22, but did not find him there.

The NBI agents were trying to enforce an arrest warrant issued by Judge Paz Esperanza M. Cortes of the Taguig Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 271 against Lee, Model Deniece Cornejo, Sajed Fernandez Abunijleh (a.k.a. Jed Fernandez), Simeon Palma Raz Jr., and Ferdinand Guererro.

According to a Monday night "24 Oras" report, the arrest warrants were for the serious illegal detention case filed by the Department of Justice on April 10.

Not finding Lee, the agents spoke with the house help who said it had been a while since Cedric was at the residence.

However, the agents did find Lee's sister, Bernice at the West Greenhills residence. She was brought in for questioning as she could not show proof that she had posted bail over a grave coercion charge which also stemmed from the Navarro mauling.

On April 11, Taguig Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) Branch 74 judge Bernard Bernal had also issued arrest warrants against Lee, Cornejo, Bernice, Raz, Guererro and Calma for the grave coercion charge.

Cornejo and Fernandez each posted bail of P12,000 last week for the grave coercion cases.

In contrast to the coercion charge, serious illegal detention is a non-bailable offense.

“Ibig sabihin niyan, dahil wala ngang piyansa, pwede silang hulihin, anytime, day or night ng kahit sinong law enforcement unit” Southern Police District director Police Chief Supt. Erwin Villacorte said in a separate “24 Oras” report.

Villacorte said they received copies of the warrants around 12 p.m. on Monday. — Elizabeth Marcelo/KBK/DVM, GMA News