MANILA (UPDATE)- The Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the syndicated estafa case against detained businessman Delfin Lee must be downgraded to simple estafa.
Voting 7-5, with 2 taking no part, the magistrates handed down the decision that would allow Lee to post bail, said Supreme Court spokesperson Theodore Te.
The case stemmed from over P6.6-billion in questionable Pag-IBIG Fund (Home Development Mutual Fund) loans obtained by alleged ‘ghost borrowers’ to purchase homes in Globe Asiatique’s Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
Lee is founder and president of GA.
The appellate court, on November 7, 2013, ordered the Pampanga Regional Trial Court to terminate its trial against Lee and recalled his arrest warrant.
This after the appellate court earlier junked the charges against Lee's co-accused Christina Sagun, GA's documentation department head, and Alex Alvarez, Pag-IBIG fund's foreclosure department head, which no longer qualified the alleged offense as syndicated estafa.
For syndicated estafa to arise, there must be at least 5 persons in conspiracy to commit the offense.
-- with a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News