SC allows Delfin Lee to post bail
Updated 3:40 p.m.
The Supreme Court has allowed Globe Asiatique (GA) president Delfin Lee, accused in the P6.6-billion housing project mess in Pampanga, to post bail.
After voting 7-5-2, the high court downgraded the syndicated estafa case against Lee to simple estafa, a bailable offense.
“The Court downgraded the offense that respondent Delfin Lee is charged with from syndicated estafa under Article 315, as amended, to simple estafa. As a consequence, the respondent Lee, who is the accused in the cases below, is entitled to bail as a matter of right,” SC spokesman Theodore Te announced in a press briefing.
The high court issued the ruling as it dismissed the 2014 petition filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) seeking the reversal of the Court of Appeals’ ruling.
The appeals court downgraded the case to simple estafa following the dismissal of the case against Lee’s co-accused, Pag-IBIG Fund foreclosure manager Alex Alvarez and GA documentation head Christina Sagun.
The appeals court noted that syndicated estafa could only be pursued if there are at least five accused.
The high court has yet to release copies of the main decision as well as different opinions pending signatures of justices.
Lee was indicted for syndicated estafa charges for allegedly defrauding the government of P6.6 billion in housing loan proceeds for home buyers, whom investigators later found to bogus.
Lee was arrested on March 6, 2014 by elements of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Task Force Tugis at the lobby of the Hyatt Hotel in Manila by virtue of a warrant of arrest issued by the Pampanga RTC Branch 42 in connection with the Pag-IBIG housing loan scam where Lee allegedly used “ghost borrowers” for GA’s housing projects.
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