Delfin Lee asks SC to end detention

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Monday, March 17, 2014

MANILA - Businessman Delfin Lee urged the Supreme Court (SC) on Monday to side with the Court of Appeals (CA) ruling that lifted the arrest warrant against him for syndicated estafa.

At the same time, Lee asked the High Court to order the Bureau of Immigration (BI) not to implement the hold departure order (HDO) issued by the Pampanga Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 42, which is hearing the case.

The CA's November 7, 2013 decision has yet to take effect since it was blocked by a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the SC, which acted last week on the appeal filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig Fund or HDMF).

Lee, president of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. (GA), is currently detained at the Pampanga Provincial Jail on allegations that he got a P6.6 billion-loan by using ghost borrowers and fake documents in relation to GA’s Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

But Lee said there is no reason for the DOJ to file a case against him and four others because there was no allegation in the complaint that they incurred P6.6-billion damage to Pag-Ibig.

"Also it is now very clear that Judge (Amifaith Fider) Reyes' finding of probable cause for syndicated estafa has no leg to stand on precisely because there is no damage to HDMF in the first place," the businessman said in his motion.

Lee added that the DOJ and Pag-Ibig have engaged in forum shopping for both questioning the CA decision with the SC.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima scoffed at the businessman's allegation, saying the SC is the only venue that will resolve the petition seeking to continue Lee's prosecution for the non-bailable offense.

Forum shopping is a sufficient ground to dismiss a petition, according to jurisprudence. (Sunnex)

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