DOJ cleared to probe Lee’s other estafa charges

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Monday, March 10, 2014

THE Supreme Court (SC) has allowed the Department of Justice (DOJ) to continue looking into three syndicated estafa charges filed against detained businessman Delfin Lee.

The charges are on top of the syndicated estafa case being heard by the Pampanga Regional Trial Court branch 42, which ordered Lee's arrest in 2012.

Lee was apprehended by the Philippine National Police (PNP) in a hotel in Manila on March 6, three days after the SC Second Division issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the decisions last year of the Court of Appeals and the Pasig RTC branch 167, which stopped the DOJ from investigating the other complaints.

Pasig Judge Rolando Mislang enjoined the DOJ on April 10, 2013 from conducting the preliminary investigation. The justice department went up to the CA but the appeal was denied since it was filed "out of time."

In issuing the TRO, the SC said Mislang's order is a "material and substantial invasion" of DOJ's right to carry out its function to probe crimes and prosecute offenders.

The stay order will also "prevent irreparable injury upon the petitioner (DOJ) who may be prevented from performing its legally mandated duty to protect public interest in case an injunction writ will not be issued."

Lee, owner of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. (GA), is detained for allegedly securing P6.65 billion-loan from the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig Fund or HDMF) using ghost borrowers who bought homes in GA’s Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga. (Sunnex)

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