CA halts Makati court ruling on Delfin Lee suit vs Pag-IBIG FundBy Tetch Torres-Tupas
MANILA, Philippines—The Court of Appeals stopped the Makati City Regional Trial Court from implementing its ruling that granted the civil suit filed by Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corporation (GA) President Delfin Lee against Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund).
In a resolution dated March 27, the appeals court, through Associate Justice Stephen C. Cruz, ruled that unless restrained, the decisions rendered by Judge Paras will further place Pag-IBIG Fund “in an unjust and inequitable position, and will cause grave and irreparable injury, not only to the petitioner, but more importantly, to the public [in] general.”
Lee filed the civil suit against Pag-IBIG Fund following the filing of syndicated estafa case against him and four others in connection with the alleged fraudulent transactions entered into by GA.
The Makati court, in its ruling, said Pag-IBIG and its Board of Trustees are guilty of breach of the provisions of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and the Funding Commitment Agreements (FCAs) it entered into with Globe Asiatique.
The lower court said Pag-IBIG should not be allowed to escape liability with impunity by simply alleging that the defaulting buyers-borrowers are fictitious and spurious because in the first place, it was them who approved all the Pag-IBIG fund membership and loan applications of the buyers-borrowers.
“Simply stated, the introduction of any evidence by defendant HDMF regarding the alleged spurious and fictitious buyers-borrowers becomes inconsequential, immaterial, and irrelevant as it is the one which approved their Pag-IBIG membership, approved their loan applications and supposedly post-validated their eligibility for loans.”
The appeals court, however, pointed that Judge Paras has decided the case in favor of GA without a formal presentation of evidence.
In issuing the TRO against the summary judgment rendered by Judge Paras, the appeals court noted that “[r]emarkable is the fact that that petitioner (Pag-IBIG Fund) was defrauded of billions of pesos already, for which numerous other cases, including criminal and civil cases, against private respondents are already pending before the appropriate tribunals.”
The appeals court granted the TRO upon the application of the Pag-IBIG Fund which claimed in its petition that Judge Paras gravely abused his discretion when he summarily rendered the assailed decisions in favor of GA without the benefit of a trial.
“Under the circumstances, we hold and so rule that petitioner would stand to suffer grave and irreparable injury if the writ of execution of the assailed Resolutions is implemented at this time and pending the resolution of the instant petition,” the appeals court said.
Delfin Lee remains at large despite the outstanding warrants for their arrest issued by the RTC of Pampanga where the syndicated estafa against them is pending.