Screenshot of Rod Cornejo being interview by Boy Abunda as shown in primetime news show ‘Bandila’ on ABS-CBN. (YouTube)
MANILA – “I believe Deniece is telling the truth.”
Rod Cornejo, Deniece Cornejo’s grandfather, pleaded to his granddaughter on national TV to heed the call of the authorities.
“I believe she should immediately submit herself to the authorities and trust the judicial system to determine the truth once and for all,” the older Cornejo said in a statement to ABS-CBN Sunday showbiz talk show ‘Buzz ng Bayan.’
Deniece Cornejo, a model by profession, is being pursued by the authorities after being charged with serious illegal detention of host-comedian Vhong Navarro. Her rape case against Navarro was dismissed by the Department of Justice for lack of sufficient evidence.
Rod Cornejo also appealed to the public not to judge his granddaughter before the due process of the law is obtained.
“I, therefore, appeal to your viewers to withhold their judgement and allow the process to determine the truth, the truth that sets one free,” Rod Cornejo added.
The forces of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) are still searching for Deniece Cornejo, while fellow accused businessman Cedric Lee and Simeon ‘Zimmer’ Raz were caught by authorities on April 26 in Oras, Eastern Samar.
Upon searching the house where the two men were found, authorities found articles of women’s clothing.
“Sinearch namin ‘yung bahay. May napansin kaming damit ng babae. Inisip namin na baka nandoon ‘yung isang suspect na babae, si Deniece,” NBI’s Atty. Emetrio Dongallo said.
After questioning, Lee and Raz denied any knowledge of Deniece’s whereabouts.
“Hindi ko po alam [kung nasaan si Deniece]. Mabagal ‘yon, hindi namin puwedeng isama! Excess baggage ‘yon! (I don’t know [where Deniece is]. She’s slow, we can’t take her with us! She’s just excess baggage!)” Lee said to the media as they were brought to the NBI headquarters.
Other suspects who are still at large are Ferdinand Guerrero and Jed Fernandez were also charged with serious illegal detention. All four, together with Lee’s sister Bernice, were also charged with grave coercion to which Bernice, Cornejo, and Fernandez already posted their bail worth P12,000 each.
Serious illegal detention is a non-bailable offense.
With report from ABS-CBN News Online