Binay wants Delfin Lee moved to provincial jail

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Sunday, March 9, 2014

MANILA -- Vice President Jejomar Binay said Sunday that alleged housing scam leader Delfin Lee should be transferred to an ordinary provincial jail just like any accused.

“The arrest of Delfin Lee is the first step for all Pag-Ibig Fund (Home Development Mutual Fund) members and thousands of victims of double sale in attaining justice. Now, we must apply the rule of law and not give special treatment to the accused," Binay said.

Lee was brought to the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon for a medical checkup and booking process after his arrest in a hotel last Thursday night.

On Friday morning, he was brought before the Pampanga Regional Trial Court that issued the arrest warrant against him and four others for syndicated estafa, a non-bailable charge.

Lee is currently detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) office in San Fernando City.

The Vice President ordered the filing of charges against Lee and some of his employees in Globe Asiatique in December 2010 after an investigation ordered by Binay revealed Lee used fake documents and ghost borrowers who supposedly bought homes in Globe Asiatique’s Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga, to secure P6.65 billion in loans from Pag-Ibig Fund.

President Benigno Aquino III previously set a P2-million reward for information leading to the capture of Lee, who hid for almost two years.

Lee's camp insisted that he cannot be arrested as the case against him has already been quashed when the Court of Appeals (CA) ordered Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes of the Pampanga RTC branch 42 to recall the arrest warrant.

The government, however, said the Rules of Court provide that the CA decision cannot be implemented since Pag-Ibig, through the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), elevated the case to the Supreme Court (SC).

"The Office of the Solicitor General timely filed an appeal on certiorari with the SC, that's why the CA decision is not yet final and executory. In other words, the warrant of arrest still subsists," said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Lee's lawyers will file a petition before the CA on Monday to overturn his arrest. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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