Atty. Raymond Fortun resigns as spokesman of Cedric Lee

"My personal desire to help you notwithstanding the adverse publicity that you have been receiving is precisely to educate the public on the need to temper their emotions in light of your Constitutional rights to due process, to counsel of your choice, to present a valid and lawful defense, and to confront your accusers in the proper legal setting," says Atty. Raymond Fortun in his resignation letter to Cedric Lee.


Nagbitiw na bilang spokespesman ni Cedric Lee si Atty. Raymond Fortun.

Ito ay makalipas lamang ng mahigit isang linggo mula nang sumali ang abugado sa kampo ni Cedric, isa sa mga inakusahan ng pambubugbog ng aktor na si Vhong Navarro.

Idinaan ni Atty. Fortun sa sulat ang pagre-resign bilang tagapagsalita ni Cedric, na in-address niya mismo sa negosyante.

Sa naturang liham ay ibinigay niya ang mga dahilan kung bakit siya magbibitiw sa kanyang tungkulin.

Narito ang kabuuang liham ni Atty. Fortun kay Cedric, na ipinamahagi rin sa ilang miyembro ng media:

Dear Cedric,

I had been engaged as your spokesman with the objective of being the media’s contact person in all legal as well as factual issues as may be consistent with the thrust of your legal counsels. In this regard, I had faithfully complied with this mandate for the past 12 days, even at peril to my own reputation as a lawyer.

Together with this mandate was an agreement that no statements shall by anybody from your group without the consent/approval of your counsels and/or spokesman. This has been breached last night.

(Sa report ng Buzz Ng Bayan kaninang hapon, February 16, sinabi ng host na si Boy Abunda na ang posibleng tinutukoy ni Atty. Fortun dito ay ang pagsasalita ni Deniece Cornejo na walang malisya ang paghalik sa kanya ni Cedric sa loob ng elevator, sa bagong CCTV footage na inilabas ng NBI. Ayon kay Boy, ipinaliwanag ni Deniece na ang paghalik sa kanya ni Cedric ay simbulo ng pasasalamat dahil tinulungan siya ni Cedric pagkatapos siyang pagtangkaang halayin ni Vhong.)

My personal desire to help you notwithstanding the adverse publicity that you have been receiving is precisely to educate the public on the need to temper their emotions in light of your Constitutional rights to due process, to counsel of your choice, to present a valid and lawful defense, and to confront your accusers in the proper legal setting.

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The past several days had made me realize that this country is NOT YET READY to accept these legal concepts, to which I squarely lay the blame on inaccurate reportage and the unprofessional actions of certain law enforcement agencies. That being the case and for the earlier reason mentioned, and in light of my inability to perform the functions for which I was hired, I regret that I must resign as your spokesman effective immediately.

Nonetheless, and in light of the lessons I have learned during my short stint as your spokesman, I will henceforth be devoting some of my time to: (i) ask congressmen to enact legislation so that ALL PERSONS who MAY be facing criminal prosecution be duly informed of their rights (e.g. to remain silent, to the presence of a lawyer etc.) before they are interviewed by TV networks.

People accused of crimes also have rights which need to be protected against media frenzy and unfair pre-judgments; and (ii) ask the Supreme Court to resolve the issues in respect of the Constitutionality of the Anti-Cybercrime Law, in order to address the matter of cyber-libels against Filipino citizens. People do have the right to express their opinions about issues, but such freedom does not grant a license to bully, hurl invectives or otherwise destroy one’s reputation without factual basis.

I wish you all the best in your case, and may justice prevail.

Very truly yours,

Raymond Fortun


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