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SC to look into Delfin Lee’s plea against jail transfer

/ 07:40 PM November 04, 2015

THE Supreme Court will look into the protest of detained Globe Asiatique president Delfin Lee against his transfer from the city jail to the provincial jail.

Lee, who is facing a case for syndicated estafa, said in his plea to the high court that Pampanga Regional Trial Court Luz Simbulan ordered his transfer following allegation of that he is receiving special treatment.

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But Lee, in his plea before the Office of the Court Administrator, said such insinuation was based on hearsay.

“It will be truly unfair for herein accused to be transferred to the BJMP Telabastagan and be incarcerated together with one hundred more or less, common and hardened criminals, especially so that herein accused is not even a convicted felon,” Lee, through counsel Salvador Viste Jr. said.

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Lee said Simbulan’s information was based on anonymous letters.

Court Administrator Jose Midas Marquez, who has supervision over judges nationwide, confirmed that he has received a copy of the motion against Judge Simbulan.

“I am looking into it (Lee’s plea) to determine what action may be done on the issue, or if there’s need for any,” he said in a text message.

Marquez confirmed that he has received a copy of Lee’s motion as well as Judge Simbulan’s letter and supplemental letter to RTC Branch 42 Judge Amifaith Reyes, who is hearing the case.

He said he would also verify reports that an anonymous complaint has been filed against Judge Simbulan.

“I haven’t seen the complaint yet,” he added.

Lee also asked Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes who is hearing Lee’s case to compel Judge Simbulan to testify and produce evidence to support his allegations if the latter would insist on his transfer.

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From Telebastagan City Jail, the Judge now wanted the accused in the syndicated estafa case to be moved to a jail facility in Arayat, which is one hour away from San Fernando City.

In her supplemental letter to Judge Reyes last Monday, Judge Simbulan said the Arayat jail would be more conducive for Lee as it is not as overcrowded as the Telabastagan facility.

“Per verification from the BJMP and Pampanga Provincial Jail Wardens, BJMP Arayat could ideally accommodate 30 inmates and has 32 inmates as of October 6, 2015; BJMP Telabastagan has an ideal capacity of 35 inmates and has 66 inmates of same date; and Pampanga Provincial Jail has an ideal capacity of 600 inmates and has 1,453 inmates as of October 6, 2015,” she said.

Simbulan further claimed that she conducted a surprise visit to the provincial jail last July 13 and saw Lee conferring with his lawyer Willie Rivera at his cell, which she said is not allowed in jails.

“In light of the data stated in this supplemental letter, your Court may consider transferring accused Delfin Lee to BJP Arayat, Pampanga, as well,” she stated in the three-page letter.

Judge Reyes has already set the hearing on Monday, Nov. 9, to rule on the issue.

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