MANILA, Philippines—The Pampanga City Regional Trial Court Branch 42 issued a hold departure order against Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corporation owner Delfin Lee and his co-accused in a syndicated estafa case filed by the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-IBIG Fund).
Aside from Lee, included in the HDO issued by Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes were his son Dexter, GA officers Christina Sagun and Cristina Salagan and HDMF official Alex Alvarez.
The court said in its ruling that syndicated estafa is a non-bailable offense and “the activity of subdivision and condominium development which is under the HLURB (Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board) involves ‘public interest and welfare.’”
“Thus, it is public interest and public welfare that is served when the Hold Departure Order is issued against those who have to account for the alleged misuse of funds that were availed from the HLURB and that should have been dedicated to the real beneficiaries of the low-cost housing projects,” Fider-Reyes ruled in her decision.
“As for any constitutional right to travel that [the five accused] may have been entitled to, this should now give way to the public interest and public welfare that is vested in the instant proceedings,” the judge further ruled.
The case against the GA owner stemmed from the purported anomalous loans amounting to more than P7 billion granted by Pag-ibig Fund to “ghost borrowers” who had allegedly bought homes in GA’s Xevera Housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.