Delfin Lee accepts SC decision, but vows to press on
MANILA, Philippines–Embattled real property developer Delfin Lee on Thursday said he respected the Supreme Court’s refusal to hold oral arguments on the cases he filed in connection with his illegal arrest and the P6.6-billion civil case lodged against him.
In a statement issued through his lawyer, Willie Rivera, Lee said he would continue to seek appropriate legal recourse “as we move on and continue our pursuit for justice and fairness.” He said he was determined to prove that it was the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-Ibig Fund) that should be held responsible for the scam being blamed on him.
“We accept the decision of the high court in not granting us the chance for an oral argument—even as we see this as a drawback in our bid to show the magistrates and the Filipino people as well—that contrary to Pag-Ibig Fund’s claims, we have not defrauded the government of any single centavo.
“Had the court allowed us to orally argue these points and given us the chance to be publicly heard, we would have let the public learn the truth and put an end to Pag-Ibig’s unending efforts to misinform and mislead everyone,” Lee said.
He said he had hoped that through the oral arguments, the public would be “truly enlightened,” more so in light of the Senate committee on housing’s recent decision to indefinitely postpone its hearings inquiring into the scam.
Lee, president and owner of GlobeAsiatique Inc., was ordered arrested by a Pampanga court in connection with the alleged double sale of some P6.6 billion worth of subdivision lots in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
After managing to evade arrest for over a year, Lee was nabbed by agents of Task Force Tugis of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in a hotel in Ermita, Manila, on March 6.
Lee has repeatedly insisted that Pag-Ibig never suffered the P6.6 billion in damages.
“Pag-Ibig has never claimed such amount from us. There were no ghosts or fictitious buyers, but only defaulting buyers whose borrowings were approved and processed by Pag-Ibig itself. And there was no double sale, as defaulting buyers were simply replaced by new buyers and Pag-Ibig has full knowledge about all these transactions they were directly involved in the entire loan process,” he said.
Meanwhile, the chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has filed criminal charges against the two lawyers of Lee for claiming that the arrest warrant against their client had already been lifted when he was arrested in March.
Director Benjamin Magalong on Thusday said he personally brought charges for obstruction of justice against Rivera and Gilbert Requiso in the Quezon City prosecutor’s office.
“I personally filed a case against the lawyers because of deception,” Magalong told reporters at Camp Crame.
“If you will remember, they repeatedly made it appear that the arrest warrant against Lee was already lifted. They made us believe their claims,” he said.
Lee’s lawyers claimed the warrant for his arrest was quashed by the Court of Appeals in a decision it issued on Nov. 7, 2013.
They used this as basis to ask the CIDG and PNP Director General Alan Purisima to remove Lee’s name from the PNP’s list of wanted persons.
In December 2013, Magalong granted the request of Lee’s lawyers to have his name stricken off the list.
The controversy over Lee’s delisting led to the eventual sacking of Task Force Tugis head Senior Supt. Conrado Capa, who blasted Purisima for his unceremonious relief.
Capa has since been assigned as deputy director for operations of the Cebu regional police office.
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