Actor Absent from First Day of Mediation in Grave Coercion Case in Philippines
Actor Ferdinand “Vhong” Navarro continues to pursue charges of “grave coercion” against Deniece Cornejo, Cedric Lee and six others stemming from an incident that occurred at Cornejo’s residence in which the actor claims he was assaulted in an attempt to coerce him into confessing guilt in the rape of Cornejo. Cornejo, a model, and Lee have pleaded not guilty.
The court has ordered mandatory mediation proceedings between the parties. On the advice of his lawyer, Navarro did not attend the mediation in person. The mediator made a formal request of Navarro’s lawyers that he be physically present for the next mediation session currently scheduled for July 7th. Navarros’ lawyers have stated they must consider the implications on the case of Navarro’s involvement with the court-ordered mediation, but it’s generally considered unlikely they can completely ignore the mediator’s request.
However, Navarro’s lawyers have not ruled out a settlement on the case, and have stated the actor is willing to give mediation “one more try.”
The rape charge against Navarro has been “junked” by the Justice Department for a lack of “probable cause.” Among the defects found in the charges was a lack of witnesses despite the fact that the rape allegedly occurred in Cornejo’s condominium with neighbors within earshot. Navarro has maintained his innocence to the charge of rape. Cornejo remains in custody until the mediation process has been completed.