Lee fights transfer from ‘posh’ jail
CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—For now, real estate developer Delfin Lee is not leaving the Pampanga provincial jail at the capitol compound here despite an executive judge’s recommendation moved elsewhere over complaints of special treatment.
Lawyer Rony Garay, Lee’s counsel, said Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes of the Regional Trial Court Branch 42 directed him on Monday to submit by Dec. 14 his comments on the recommendation of RTC Executive Judge Divina Luz Aquino-Simbulan that Lee be moved to a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) detention center in Barangay Telabastagan here.
Reyes is hearing the syndicated estafa cases against Lee who is accused of skimming P7 billion from the Pag-Ibig Fund (Home Development Mutual Fund) through the double sale of houses and use of ghost buyers in his Xevera subdivisions in Bacolor and Mabalacat City in Pampanga since 2008.
Lee is president of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. (GARHC), the developer of the Xevera subdivisions.
“Judge Reyes gave us until Dec. 14 to controvert the baseless allegation… Mr. Lee shall remain at the provincial jail until this matter is resolved,” Garay told reporters outside the RTC building.
Lee filed a plea in the Supreme Court’s Office of the Court Administrator to investigate Simbulan after the latter supposedly coordinated the transfer with the BJMP without an order from Reyes.
In a letter to Reyes on Oct. 29, Simbulan said that during her latest quarterly jail visit, she was surprised to see a small gym next to Lee’s cell on the second floor of the reconstructed prison.
Anonymous letters that Simbulan received in March said that Lee had installed an air-conditioner in his cell and had hired a bodyguard who stayed with him from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day.
Simbulan said it would be to Lee’s benefit to be transferred to the BJMP center because it is near Angeles City where one of his lawyers, Willie Rivera, holds office.
Lee, the complainants said, put up a bakery at the jail and employed inmates. They said visitors and inmates were forced to buy items from him.
They also said Lee’s friends did not use visitor ID cards and would stay in a room built for his friends.
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.