Palace vows arrest of other high profile fugitives after Delfin Lee

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Friday, March 7, 2014

MALACAÑANG on Friday welcomed the arrest of real estate magnate Delfin Lee, as efforts have been ongoing to arrest other known fugitives in the country.

Lee, the alleged mastermind in the P6.6-billion Globe Asiatique scam, was arrested by authorities last Thursday night at a hotel in Manila.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Lee's arrest shows the government’s commitment to track down top fugitives in the country.

"I recall, at one event, the President did mention na 'kahit kayo magtago, mahahanap at mahahanap kayo.' So this is a good step, at least for government because, finally, cases can move," she said in a regular press briefing.

She said President Benigno Aquino III was updated about Lee's arrest and assumed that he was pleased with the fall of one of the so-called "Big 5."

Aquino earlier offered high reward for anyone who could give information leading to the arrest of Lee and other four high-profile fugitives such as retired Army Major General Jovito Palparan, former Palawan governor Joel Reyes, his brother Mario Reyes and Dinagat Representative Ruben Ecleo. Each has P2-million bounty of the head.

Valte said the victims involved in all four other cases should not lose hope as the government continues to hunt down the remaining fugitives.

Malacanang, meanwhile, supported Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for saying that the arrest warrant against Lee remains in effect.

Valte said that the Court of Appeals' decision on Lee's case is still not final and executory since the Department of Justice appealed it.

"The mode of appeal, as lawyers like to call it, was under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Thereby, hindi po naging final and executory dahil nagsampa tayo ng apela sa naging desisyon ng Court of Appeals. And to prove positive the fact that it did not become final and executory are two things: one, the warrant of arrest was not recalled, which is normally the case when the quashing is made final, pero hindi pa ito na-recall; at pangalawa, yung hold departure order against Delfin Lee was not lifted," she said.

Lee went into hiding in May 2012 after a Pampanga court ordered his arrest for syndicated estafa charges for allegedly defrauding the government of some P6.65 billion in bogus housing loans. (SDR/Sunnex)

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