MANILA -- A high-ranking official of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) confirmed that police mulled releasing businessman Delfin Lee after he was arrested more than a week ago.
In a report to Vice President Jejomar Binay, HUDCC Deputy Secretary General and Assistant Secretary Daniel Subido said: “It is incredulous for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to even consider releasing an apprehended accused based on the mere representations of the latter’s lawyer on the purported invalidity of the Warrant of Arrest. Clearly there must have been influential people that worked on the actual delisting of Mr. Lee from the Warrant of Arrest Information System and pressured the PNP to cause Mr. Lee’s release despite the existence of a valid Warrant of Arrest.”
Binay is chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Home Mutual Development Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund).
Subido said he was instructed by Binay to immediately proceed to Camp Crame after hearing news of Lee’s arrest to ensure that the rule of law will be applied.
Binay earlier said he had received news that “influential people” were pressuring Philippine National Police (PNP) officials to release Lee.
“When I arrived (at) Camp Crame, I was surprised that PNP officers were discussing the validity of Mr. Lee’s arrest based on the mere representations made and documents presented by the lawyer of Mr. Lee,” Subido said in his report.
“According to the PNP officers, the lawyer of Mr. Lee presented documents that show that the Warrant of Arrest against Mr. Lee has allegedly been quashed, recalled and lifted, and that the PNP was purportedly enjoined from implementing said warrant of arrest,” he said, adding that he had to explain that the warrant of arrest earlier issued by a Pampanga court still stands.
Task Force Tugis
“In fact, it was confirmed to me by (PSSupt.) Conrad Capa, the head of Task Force Tugis, that the task force verified with the Regional Trial Court of Pampanga that the Warrant of Arrest against Mr. Lee was still valid and existing despite the ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated November 7, 2013 which purportedly quashed, recalled, and lifted the Warrant of Arrest against Mr. Lee,” Subido said.
He insisted that the courts, and not the PNP, has the sole discretion to assess the validity of the warrant of arrest.
Subido said the events immediately after the arrest of Lee further bolster his belief that influential people had tried to pressure the PNP.
“The circumstances that transpired immediately after the arrest of Mr. Lee coupled by the Certification, Memo and letters showing the delisting of Mr. Lee from the database of outstanding arrest warrants and ordering to enjoin the implementation of the arrest warrant against him previously issued by the PNP only show that influential people indeed pressured the PNP to favor Mr. Lee,” he noted.
For Subido, Capa and Task Force Tugis should be commended for their acts.
The PNP had announced Capa's transfer to Cebu as a “promotion.” Capa, however, questioned the move.
Meanwhile, Senator Nancy Binay is seeking an investigation into the alleged delisting of Lee from the PNP’s “Most Wanted Persons List.”
She filed Senate Resolution No. 567, which directs the appropriate Senate committees to launch an inquiry into the alleged removal of Lee’s name from the said list as well as the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group’s (CIDG) issuance of a certification of the Globe Asiatique president’s removal from the Warrant of Arrest database.