GA's Delfin Lee still in the country - lawyer

by Cathy Rose A. Garcia,

Posted at Jul 24 2012 12:25 PM | Updated as of Jul 25 2012 05:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines -  Globe Asiatique's Delfin Lee is still in the country, but his lawyer says they are questioning the warrant of arrest issued against him.

In an interview with ANC, Globe Asiatique's lawyer Willie Rivera said Lee will show up but only if he is allowed to post bail.

Last May, a warrant of arrest was issued against Lee, who is facing a syndicated estafa case in connection with anomalies in Globe Asiatique's Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Syndicated estafa is a non-bailable offense.

"He wants to face the case but he feels he is being deprived of this opportunity... If they allow us to post bail, he will show up definitely. We are going to prove his innocence," Rivera said.

The controversial real estate developer has managed to elude arrest, prompting Vice President Jejomar Binay to propose a P1-million reward for his arrest.

Rivera said Lee feels he is being unfairly singled out, when there are other property developers who have similar cases.

"He feels he is being singled out. There are more or less 200 real estate developers in a similar situation. Why Globe Asiatique only," he said.

However, Rivera denied Lee has left the country to avoid the case. He even likened Lee's case to that of Sen. Ping Lacson, who went in hiding during the Arroyo administration.

"We advised him to stay in the Philippines... We're questioning the issuance of a warrant of arrest under rule 141, section 2 of the rules of court - before the court can even issue a warrant of arrest, Pag-IBIG should pay the docket fee, which amounts to P132 million, if they're claiming GA should pay them P6 billion but in their civil case, they said only P10 million," he said.

Rivera also pointed out Lee's case cannot qualify as syndicated estafa, since it includes a Pag-IBIG employee.

"How can you indict people of syndicated estafa by including an employee of Pag-IBIG? ... All of them should be employees of the same company. How can a mere notary public (of Pag-IBIG) be included in the case?," he said.

Rivera blamed the problems being faced by Globe Asiatique homeowners on Pag-IBIG.  "The problem is originating from Pag-IBIG not from us," he said, noting that Pag-IBIG does not want to accept payments from Globe Asiatique and its homeowners.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) had recommended the filing of syndicated estafa charges against Lee and several others, after GA was found to have used "ghost borrowers" and fake documents to obtain over P6.5 billion in loans from Pag-IBIG for its Xevera housing project.

"We cannot accept fake buyers...The member status verification slips come from them. If may naloko man kami, eh sa kanila nanggagaling yun... If wala yun, GA would not even start the process," Rivera said.

In response, Pag-IBIG general counsel Robert John Cosico said Globe Asiatique was found to have gotten fake buyers to apply for loans from Pag-IBIG.

"Nagrecruit ng tao na magpanggap na buyers sa Pag-IBIG fund. Dalawa na ang nagakaroon ng probable cause hearing, sa DOJ and prior to issuance of the warrant of arrest at nagkaroon din ng hearing sa Pampanga. May sapat pong ebidensya na kasuhan sila," Cosico told ANC.