SC told:  Case vs Globe Asiatique has lost any basis | Inquirer News
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SC told:  Case vs Globe Asiatique has lost any basis

By: - Reporter / @JeromeAningINQ
/ 10:09 PM January 10, 2016

MANILA, Philippines — The government’s P6.6-billion syndicated estafa case against businessman Delfin Lee and other executives of his property development firm Globe Asiatique Inc. (GA) should be dismissed as the suit no longer had any leg to stand on, his lawyer said on Sunday.

Lawyer Rony Garay said that apart from decisions of the Court of Appeals and the Makati City regional trial court clearing Lee in the charges, the Home Mutual Development Fund (Pag-IBIG) and Office of the Solicitor General have also conceded that there was no such P6.6-billion loss or damage incurred by the government as earlier alleged against Lee.

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“The P6-billion housing scam is fabled and an outright lie. That’s why Lee’s continued detention in Pampanga jail is a clear case of injustice,” Garay told reporters last week upon filing an urgent motion for resolution of cases involving Lee and GA.

“This is exactly the reason why we are pushing for the immediate resolution of the petitions before the Supreme Court questioning the Court of Appeals decisions that dismissed Lee’s syndicated estafa case and quashed the arrest order issued by the trial court against our client,” the lawyer stressed.

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In its charges against Lee, HMDF Pag-IBIG earlier alleged that it suffered a damage in the amount of P6.6 billion in loans taken by GA, but Garay said that “such claim is an outright lie as clearly shown not only by HMDF’s own documents, but by its officers’ express pronouncements.”

He said no less than HMDF’s president and chief executive officer Darlene Berberabe admitted during the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee hearing conducted in April last year that Lee and GA did not obtain any P6.6 billion loan from the government agency.

“On the contrary, it is GA, as further admitted by Berberabe, that has receivables of P600 million from HMDF, more than sufficient to pay off or cover the alleged P18-million claim of the 28 other complainants of petitioner HMDF,” Garay recalled.

Garay said that as early as April 2013, the HMDF could not justify in hearings on the case why it had not filed any case against GA for the collection of the alleged P6.6-billion damage.

He recalled that the HMDF’s counterclaim was only for P12 million, adding that the agency has been barred from increasing the amount in any proceedings.

According to the lawyer, the Office of the Solicitor General has confirmed that the HMDF has admitted in its comment in a related case pending at the Court of Appeals that there is no such thing as a “P6.6 Billion damage to petitioner HMDF.”

“This is also the reason why after more than six years, respondents (Lee) and Globe Asiatique have not received to date any demand letter or summons in any pending civil case, for the payment of this fabled P6.6 Billion damage allegedly,” Garay said.

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“Besides, there can be no damage on the part of petitioner HMDF for P6.6 billion because it is fully secured by the collateral town house units at the Xevera Bacolor and Mabalacat Township Projects,” he added.

Garay said the P6.6-billion damage claim was “simply a media hype.”

Lee’s camp said the Supreme Court should now dismiss the petitions of HMDF and Department of Justice justifying the syndicated estafa case filed against the GA executives before Pampanga RTC.

The Court of Appeals earlier affirmed the ruling of the Makati RTC that GA “did not commit any breach of warranty, and instead it is HMDF which is guilty of breach of contract” and “did not approve the Pag-IBIG housing loan applications of the claimed fictitious buyers/borrowers because [by agreement], it (GA) is limited to loan counseling.”

This was why, Garay stressed, they were surprised when the Pampanga court upheld the indictment against his client when the judge could not even state the amount of damage allegedly sustained by HMDF.

With regards to the double sale and ghost projects, Lee and his lawyers said that out of the 10,000 buyers of Bacolor and Mabalacat township projects in Pampanga, a total of only 27 individuals filed their cases vs. Globe Asiatique and most of these individuals were the “delinquent ones” who took advantage of the issue that beset the project more than five years ago.

Until today, the 27 complainants are living in their respective housing units and that no one has claimed ownership of their houses as they continue to enjoy their abode without paying any single centavo over the past five years, according to Lee’s camp.

As for allegations of ghost projects, Lee said that all of the more than 10,000 units were fully constructed, including all of the amenities to make a model township.

Last month, affected homeowners of the Globe Asiatique’s subdivisions in Pampanga have also pushed for resolution of the cases in the Supreme Court.

In a four-page letter to Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes P. A. Sereno, the homeowners’ associations appealed to the high court to look into their plight after being caught up in the cases between Lee and HMDF.

They said it was HMDF itself that admitted to them in a letter sent early last month that they “got caught in the middle of the lengthy court proceedings,” prompting them to bring the matter to the Supreme Court.  SFM

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TAGS: Court of Appeals, court petition, courts, Crime, Delfin Lee, fraud, ghost borrowers, ghost buyers, Globe Asiatique Inc., HMDF, Home Mutual Development Fund, housing scam, Justice, law, litigation, Makati City Regional Trial Court, News, Office of the Solicitor General, Pag-Ibig, petitions with the Supreme Court, Rony Garay, Supreme Court, Supreme Court petitions, syndicated estafa, trials
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