MANILA (2ND UPDATE) - The Court of Appeals has acted on embattled businessman Delfin Lee's petition for writ of habeas corpus, and directed the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to produce and present Lee before the appellate court in a hearing set at 10am tomorrow, Wednesday.
The 2-page resolution, dated March 10 and signed by Associate Justices Manuel Barrios, Normandie Pizarro, and Stephen Cruz of the Special First Division, ordered the PNP and NBI "to produce the body of the petition before this (CA) court and to show cause why the relief sought should not be granted."
The appellate court ordered both agencies to explain the basis and legality of his arrest and detention. After hearing the arguments of both sides, the appellate court will rule on the case.
Lee, founder and president of Globe Asiatique, filed the 5-page petition on Monday, hours ahead of his scheduled arraignment on syndicated estafa charges pending in a Pampanga trial court. In his plea, Lee insisted that his arrest by PNP TF Tugis, and subsequent detention by the NBI, are illegal since in a Nov 7, 2013 ruling the appellate court ruled on the quashal of his arrest warrant and a halt to the criminal proceeding against him.
Lee's arraignment was reset to Friday.
Lee's camp will file a supplemental petition today, urging the CA to include the Pampanga Provincial Jail as respondent in his petition for writ of habeas corpus. Lee is now detained in the said facility, as ordered by the lower court.
Lee and 4 others have been charged with syndicated estafa in connection with alleged anomalous P6.6 billion loans obtained from Pag-Ibig by "ghost" borrowers of GA's Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.