Delfin Lee gave funds to Aquino 2010 campaign—VACC
MANILA, Philippines—Did Delfin Lee, the man now detained on charges of syndicated estafa, help President Benigno Aquino snare the presidency in the 2010 elections?
A leader of an anti-crime watchdog posed this question, on Thursday, as he took up the cudgels for Senior Superintendent Conrad Capa, the erstwhile Task Force Tugis chief who was castigated by Aquino for going on a “media tour” to oppose his relief.
Dante Jimenez, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chair, assailed the President for his cavalier attitude toward Capa, who led the capture of the alleged architect of the P7-billion housing racket on March 6.
He said the President’s censure of Capa might have been because of Lee’s role in Aquino’s campaign in the 2010 presidential race.
“What the President did to Capa was uncalled for. That’s really foul,” Jimenez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“Capa deserved recognition. He should have been commended and honored for his accomplishment, unless there’s a hidden agenda why the President did that,” he said.
Asked to elaborate, he said he received “several information” that Lee was one of the President’s “biggest campaign contributors” when he ran for the highest elective post.
“Is it true? These are information given to me. Lee is a moneyed businessman. He is well-connected in Malacañang and to some people close to the President,” Jimenez claimed.
Vice President Jejomar Binay earlier disclosed that an “influential individual” had tried to intervene in Lee’s arrest and convince the Philippine National Police (PNP) to free the real estate magnate.
Oriental Mindoro Governor Alfonso Umali, a staunch ally of the President and national treasurer of the ruling Liberal Party, admitted that he called PNP Director General Alan Purisima shortly after Lee’s arrest.
But he vehemently denied that he had asked Purisima to release Lee.
Capa, who was transferred by Purisima as deputy regional director for operations of the Central Visayas police office a week after Lee’s arrest, expressed disgust over his new assignment, saying it was “definitely not a promotion.”
He lambasted Purisima, who personally tapped him to head the task force in July last year, for “misleading” the public about his sacking.
Speaking at a ceremony honoring outstanding policemen at Camp Crame on Tuesday, the President gave Capa a dressing down, calling his actions as “disservice” to the police force.
Capa was also left out from the list of police personnel cited for Lee’s arrest.
A former security aide of the President, Purisima is known to be one of the longtime and closest friends of Aquino in the government.
Jimenez said it was unfortunate that the President ignored Capa’s role in hunting down one of the so-called “Big Five” high-profile fugitives.
“President Aquino should hear what the public and Lee’s victims had to say about Capa. They are very happy with Capa’s accomplishment in arresting Delfin Lee,” he said.
In fact, he said the VACC and some homeowners who were duped by Lee’s company, Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Inc., had presented an award to Capa and his subordinates for their efforts.
“The recognition we gave to Capa and his men is more meaningful than what the President and the PNP gave to some police personnel last Tuesday,” he said.
Capa, who had declined to comment on the President’s speech, won the admiration and support of the netizens, many of whom were disappointed by the Chief Executive’s public rebuke of the police official.
Jimenez said Purisima should also understand Capa’s predicament, arguing that his outburst in the media was just a normal reaction of any police official unceremoniously sacked from their post.
“Conrad Capa is just a human being after all. It’s just normal for him to air his disappointment,” Jimenez said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.