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Delfin Lee insists on oral arguments in SC

MANILA, Philippines—Globe Asiatique (GA) president Delfin Lee wants the Supreme Court (SC) to hold oral arguments on the cases filed against him and other officials of the company over their alleged involvement in a P7-billion housing scam.

Lee on Monday filed an “extremely urgent motion… and manifestation” in the high court, asking that the nine of 10 cases in the syndicated estafa charges filed against him and four others be set for oral arguments, “to simplify the intricate issues brought about by the different facts and grounds (presented) by the parties in each of the petitions.”

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Allotted time

The Supreme Court website quotes retired Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban who wrote in his book, “Battles in the Supreme Court,” that “oral arguments, which are rare, are usually held only in cases involving difficult and complicated questions.”

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The former Chief Justice said that in an oral argument, the court delineates the issues and lawyers for each side dwell on these issues within the allotted time. The time may, however, be extended because members of the high court may ask questions on any topic, issue or matter. The lawyers are usually required to follow up and close their cases with the filing of written memoranda after the oral arguments, the Supreme Court website said.

Lee sought oral arguments on the nine petitions citing the injunction issued against the Department of Justice from proceeding in the preliminary investigation of the estafa cases. He added that the judicial determination of probable cause undertaken by Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes of Regional Trial Court Branch 42 of San Fernando, Pampanga, had been annulled and set aside by different divisions of the Court of Appeals… “for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”

Lee is currently detained at the Pampanga provincial jail after he was arrested last month in Manila.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeals (CA) had junked the petition to nullify the arrest warrant of Christina Sagun, documentation officer of Globe Asiatique, and Lee’s coaccused in the syndicated estafa cases.

Irreparable injury

In an April 7 resolution, the CA Sixth Division denied Sagun’s plea on the grounds that she “(had) failed to show the grave and irreparable injury which may befall her if the arrest warrant issued against her will not be recalled or enjoined from being implemented.”

The court also denied Sagun’s plea because the Supreme Court had issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on March 12 and March 19 on its resolutions dated Nov. 7, 2013, and Oct. 3, 2013, which had recalled the arrest warrants of Lee, Sagun and three other coaccused facing trial in connection with the alleged P7-billion housing scam perpetrated by Globe Asiatique.

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TAGS: Delfin Lee, housing scam, oral arguments, Philippines, Supreme Court, syndicated estafa
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