Sunday, February 16, 2014

Atty. Fortun resigns as Cedric Lee's Counsel

Below is the full statement of Fortun:

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.

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.

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
Atty. Raymond Fortun has resigned as the spokesman for businessman Cedric Lee, who was among those implicated in the beating of actor Vhong Navarro inside the condominium unit of model Deniece Cornejo in Taguig City.

In a letter addressed to Lee, which was furnished to “Buzz ng Bayan,” Fortun cited two reasons he has decided to quit as the businessman’s spokesman.

“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,” he wrote.

The other reason, according to Fortun, is the country’s unpreparedness “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.”

“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,” he wrote in the letter.

Saying his resignation is effective immediately, Fortun wished Lee the best in his case..

And now, I wonder if Atty. Fortun plays new kazoos in his idle time.. or he is still into wedding photography..


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