Judge in Vhong Navarro’s case inhibits
After her decision of allowing businessman Cedrice Lee and his co-accused in the January 22 mauling incident involving actor Vhong Navarro to post P500,000 bail each, Judge Paz Esperanza Cortes on Tuesday formally inhibited herself from working on with the high-profile case.
In an interview with DZMM, Lee’s legal counsel, Atty. Howard Calleja said he was taken aback by the judge’s decision, which she read during the hearing of oral arguments in Navarro’s case at Taguig Regional Trial Court Branch 271.
Calleja said Cortes did not disclose any reason for her inhibition.
Earlier, Navarro charged serious illegal detention against Lee and Simeon Raz, Jr., however, they were released from detention last Tuesday, while Deniece Cornejo got out of jail last Thursday.
Calleja slammed Navarro’s camp for filing the motion for Cortes to inhibit, saying that several resolutions from the same judge were not in favor of his clients, and yet they did not petition to have another judge handle the case.
Calleja believes that one of the reasons why Cortes inhibited voluntarily from the case was because of the supposed "bullying" she received after arriving to decision permitting Lee’s group to bail.
On the other hand, Navarro’s lawyer, Atty. Alma Mallonga said on DZMM, that her camp had nothing to do with the supposed personal attacks against Cortes, also the accusations that she was paid to rule in favor of Lee’s group.
"It is unfair na may nagsasabi na nagkakalat kami ng balita [tungkol kay Judge Cortes], hindi ‘yon totoo," she said.
Mallonga also cleared that "our filing for motion for inhibition was not based on any rumor, but on legal grounds."
article source: abs cbn news