Fugitive developer Delfin Lee still in Philippines, says lawyer

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Delfin Lee. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Housing developer Delfin Lee has not left the country but is hesitant to surface “like Senator Panfilo Lacson” two years ago until the conditions are right for him to get justice, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

But Vice President Jejomar Binay immediately rejected the analogy. “Lee is no Ping Lacson,” Binay said in reaction to a statement made by Willie Rivera, lawyer of the Globe Asiatique president, on the ANC talk show.

“Senator Lacson was a critic of the Arroyo regime, while Lee defrauded Pag-Ibig Fund of almost P6 billion by using fake borrowers and fake documents, and destroyed the dreams of thousand of working Filipinos,” Binay said.

Lacson, former chief of the Philippine National Police during the term of former President Joseph Estrada, left the country for Hong Kong on Jan. 5, 2010.

By February, the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) ordered Lacson’s arrest for his alleged role in the killings of publicist Salvador “Bubby” Dacer and his driver, Emmanuel Corbito. A year later, the Court of Appeals withdrew the murder charges against Lacson, who returned to the country on March 26, 2011.

“I was making an analogy,” Rivera told the Inquirer by phone on why he likened Lee to Lacson. “Mr. Lee is exerting all remedies before surfacing. And we’re doing that,” he added.

Binay, who chairs the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, also called on the PNP and National Bureau of Investigation to intensify efforts to find Lee, his son Dexter, and three other coaccused, and arrest them based on a warrant issued by the Pampanga RTC on May 22 for syndicated estafa.

Xevera projects

The Home Development Mutual Fund (or Pag-Ibig Fund) alleged that Globe Asiatique had committed irregularities so it could take out housing loans for its Xevera projects in Bacolor and Mabalacat towns in Pampanga province. Binay has chaired the Pag-Ibig Fund since July 2010.

The alleged irregularities include recruiting unqualified people as Pag-Ibig members under the special working group program, making them sign public documents in exchange for cash to obtain loans from the savings agency or passing them off as real buyers to be later replaced by special buyers through a double sale scheme.

Right opportunity

Rivera said his client would “show up, given the right opportunity.”

Ricardo Diaz, director of the NBI office in Central Luzon, said the agency had no information on the whereabouts of Lee. “We are, however, quite sure he’s not in (Central Luzon),” Diaz told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Pag-Ibig Fund has no basis to file the syndicated estafa case for a host of reasons, according to Rivera.

For one, Makati City RTC found that Globe Asiatique was “not at fault” in a civil case, rendering no ground for the criminal case, Rivera said.

For another, Pag-Ibig Fund had not paid a docket fee of P132 million when it filed the criminal case in the Pampanga RTC, he said.

Rivera added that a coaccused, lawyer Alex Alvarez, was a Pag-Ibig Fund employee and should not have been included in the syndicated estafa case.

“There is no syndicated estafa as the [Department of Justice] resolution showed,” Rivera said, adding that the Pampanga RTC had been asked to withdraw the arrest warrant.

“It was improperly issued,” he said of the warrant, referring to reasons he earlier cited.

But Binay disproved Rivera’s claim that there was no syndicated estafa against the real estate firm and its officials.

Replacement buyers

The Vice President said a Jan. 30, 2012, resolution of the Makati City RTC ordered Pag-Ibig Fund to comply with the contract provisions on replacement buyers or those who bought units previously owned by others.

“Globe Asiatique is just muddling the issue. The Makati RTC ruling does not absolve Lee of syndicated estafa,” Binay said.

He said the Court of Appeals, in a decision on April 16, ruled that whatever was the outcome of the final ruling on the Makati civil case, “it will not serve to extinguish the criminal liability of Lee and his coaccused.”

Darlene Berberabe, Pag-Ibig Fund president, said in the same statement that the Makati RTC decision did not tackle the issue of fraud in the case against Lee.

Pag-Ibig, she said, refused to accept the replacement buyers.

Cancellation

Rivera said Globe Asiatique was not double selling the units but was exercising its right under the financing agreement to issue a notarial cancellation for the first buyers.

The titles of the properties were still in Globe Asiatique’s name, he said. What the firm assigned to Pag-Ibig Fund were accounts receivables covered by a collection servicing agreement that Pag-Ibig Fund canceled in 2010 as the irregularities became public.

Noli de Castro

Former Vice President Noli de Castro expanded the two-year guarantee for Globe Asiatique to buy back the units to five years.

The guarantee applied to all Window 1 developers, said Rivera, who noted that the company was one of the Window 1 developers.

“Globe Asiatique wants Pag-Ibig to be compelled to accept replacement buyers. Pag-Ibig did not accept the replacement buyers because the original buyers (Pag-Ibig borrowers) are fake. To accept such replacements would mean covering up the fraud of Globe Asiatique,” Berberabe said.

Rivera said fully paid units were properties of the owners. He insisted that there was no double sale because the membership status verification slip came from Pag-Ibig Fund. “The problem originated from Pag-Ibig,” he added.

Inquirer sources in Pag-Ibig Fund said Globe Asiatique filed hundreds of applications for housing loans that amounted to tens of millions of pesos weekly.

Lee’s firm managed to take out nearly P7 billion from 2008 to 2010 for over 9,000 housing units in Pampanga.

Rivera accused homeowners of taking advantage of the dispute by not paying amortization. With a report from Jerry E. Esplanada

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/SRLWUTE6TYKA332DDUG5E2YGUQ Sandiego

    kill the chink.stupid thieves

  • ddano

    There’ a warrant of arrest for Delfin Lee, in case his lawyer has forgotten. There could be no valid reason or justification for Lee being in hiding! His lawyer would be wiser to advised his client to surrender to the authorities. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LIAI3J4PISMOGFVMB4PLRZIMOI str8boy

    hayop ang abugadong ito…payo niya magtago ang kliyente…

  • zidyay

    We should put a stop to all this drama. Delfin Lee should be incarcerated in no time together with all the officers of Pag-ibig Fund and HURDC at the time the loan was approved and funds were released because they were also members of the syndicate. Delfin Lee can’t be found and  arrested because people still in power who were  involved and benefited in this robbery were the same people helping him and who wanted him in hiding.

    Cases should be similarly  filed to have the officials arrested together with Delfin Lee. We know Lee could not have successfully gotten money using fraudulent papers unless grease money flowed into the pockets of people responsible for approving loans. So why is it that Pagibig and HURDC officials up to now have not been made to account for the wrongdoing?

    While Delfin Lee is no doubt guilty and should be thrown into the lion’s den right away, so to speak, the same must be done to everyone involved in this crime.And there are a lot of them. Otherwise syndicates of similar nature will continue and the millions of Filipino people will remain living without roof above them.

  • saitam21

    Delfin Lee had an accomplice as well as a conspirator in the Pag-Ibig management. How could anybody rob it of P6 billion in broad daylight? Delfin’s daughter who is said to flaunt their loot from the poor members of the housing program should be in jail too, after Delfin is caught.Noli de Castro likewise should be made to account. 

  • TiradorDelaMuerte

    just get of hold of his socialite daughter Divine until Delfin surrenders. as I have read here from Inquirer the woman is flaunting very expensive bags and is known to go abroad for high end shopping sprees.

    maybe some people would think that is too much, but so is the 6 Billion peso that the working people has invested in PAG-IBIG funds which Delfin Lee has stolen.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KF2TCBJ2AUC7VIPR3TACWUGITE Rednaxela VD

    These Chinese businessmen are loooting their way in the country.  Make Delfin Lee an example and bring him to justice.  Let him rot in jail and sequester all his family’s asset.

    Next is Noli de Castro who is interestingly quiet amid the scandal.  He clearly has something to do with it.  And obviously, ABS CBN is downplaying the news to protect their kapamilya

  • tolits31

    kung hindi tunay na menber ng pag ibig ang mga naloko,,BAKIT INAPROVED NG PAG IBIG BOARD ANG MGA APPLICATION NITO????NANGGAGAHULUGAN NA MAY SINDIKATO SA PAG IBIG..

  • Pedro_Kawawa

    di ba obstruction of justice yang lawyer na yan? harap harapan nya sinasabi na nagtatago yong client nya. isama na sa kulungan yang lawyer na yan….

  • Rathbumo

    Ta**tadong lawyer itong si Rivera. Ang layo naman ng comparison niya. Si Ping Lacson, nagtago dahil ginigipit ni GMA and her husband, Mike Arroyo. Puro trumped up charges ang ibinalibag kay Sen. Ping Lacson. Itong si Delfin Lee, kaya nagtatago dahil nilapastangan niya ang mga lehitimong members ng Pag-ibig. Umutang ng bilyones para sa ghost housing projects ng Globe Asiatique, using fictitious names of supposed-to-be Pag-ibig members, at nang paaaresto na, nagtago. Lumutang ka na Delfin Lee, ikanta mo din yung mga opisyal noong panahon ni GMA na nag-approve ng loan mo. I’m sure may kakutsaba ka sa loob kaya ka napaboran. May mga nakinabang din sa loan mo! Tama ba Cong. Miro Quimbo?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ELA6SE5B5D7WU2SHIOBRBRAFFQ chief

    Is it true that Divine Lee is working in his fathers business’? Then she knows that they are stealing peoples money. She should be investigated too.

    • efriend

      With an ostentatious display of wealth, Divine Lee showed on TV her collection of Hermes, LV, etc. The source of money?  Your guess is as good as mine.

  • sasama

    …suwabeng-suwabe ang pagka-luto ni Noli de Castro dito ha…etung kakutsaba niya ang nag-hihirap sa katatago habang nag-bro-broadcast etung si Noli everyday sa DZMM…. what a nation a cheats and liars…

  • 711sense

    One of the important thing that is not mentioned here by anyone, is to put a freeze on all Lee’s account and holdings including the people that he is accused with and his family members before he takes it out and begone forever…. like Ping and shows up when the smokes clear.

  • Zenaida Francisco

    sa PNP.NBI baka naman gusto nyo si PNOY pa ang maghanap sa mga ito. 

  • BacolodBoy

    Si Congressman Quimbo and presidnet ng PAG-IBIG na nag allow ayan sunugin siya sa congress kaso balimbing pumunta s akampi ni Pnoy…

    Si Divine Lee ang sosyalera na magnanakaw na anak nasa europe pa raw…..

  • DGuardian

    Talagang dapat maimbestigahan si Noli De Castro tungkol sa isyung ito. Sana ay isama na rin ang isyu ng Northville Project sa Meycauayan, Bulacan kung saan inilipat ang mga squatters sa kahabaan ng gilid ng riles ng tren sa Meycauayan at mga kalapit na lugar. Ang kinuha na pinaglipatan sa mga informal settlers ay malawak na mga palaisdaan na tinambakan at sinemento ng walang kaukulang drainage kaya pag umuulan ay baha na agad. Malaking perwisyo ang dulot ng pagtabon sa mga palaisdaan na dating sumasalo at puntahan ng tubig kung umuulan at bumabagyo at kung nagpapakawala ng tubig sa mga dam sa Bulacan. Ang taas ng tubig ay umaabot hanggang dibdib at may roon na ngang nalunod doon. Isang floor lang ang pinagawang mga bahay at halatang tinipid pa ang pagkakagawa. Balitang balita na malaki ang na-kickback ng dating Mayor ng Meycauayan pati na ang dating Baranggay Chairman sa baryong pinaglipatan. Kung ang Ex-Mayor at Ex-Baranggay Chairman ay nabalitang malaki ang kinita, dapat lamang na maimbestigahan si Noli De Castro sa maanomalyang proyektong ito. Wala siyang malasakit sa environment at sa mga mamayang nakatira sa mga kalapit-lugar ng pinaglipatan at sa napakalaking perwisyong idinudulot ng pagtambak at pagkongkreto sa mga palaisdaan.

  • acidicboy

    Miro Quimbo should be investigated.  

    Then again, that won’t happen in this daang matuwid administration.

  • Pablo Juan

    Shouldnt this lawyer be charged for harboring a fugitive as well?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QS74A5GHGIDIONCTZWVV6O4UWY neil

    There should be a website that you can check the records in pag ibig and all agency… including the land registration and sss….

  • BatangSingapore

    nasa Pilipinas pa!  Di nga? hahhahahahahhahahha

  • simpleng_mamamayan23

    P.I. kaung mga INTSIK!! ang kakapal talaga ng mukha nyo!!mukang pera talaga kau!!!

  • Hagler

    hayop.

  • http://twitter.com/gfarishta gibreel farishta

    be sure ka, riverboy.. bounty hunters will follow you wherever you go, bai.. they’d tap your wires and all.. and in the process, maybe you’ll get a little gush or a little slug in the head while they look for your client, but you’ll survive. let’s see if indeed the dweeb is still here.. now, is he still here? :)

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