CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – Jailed Globe Asiatique President Delfin Lee has accused the judge who had ordered his arrest of bias against his syndicated estafa case, even as he linked the judge to Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay.
In a motion asking Regional Trial Court(RTC) Branch 42 Judge Amifaith Reyes to inhibit herself from his case, Lee cited reports that the judge “is likewise handling court duties in Makati City” and has been “receiving monthly allowances and a service vehicle from the Makati City government."“
Needless to state, the Mayor of Makati City is Junjun Binay, the son of Vice President Jejomar Binay. VP Binay is the Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), the umbrella department where private complainant Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) belongs,” Lee noted in his motion.
He said the vice president has been noted to be “very vocal in the print and broadcast media of his personal interest in the prosecution of this criminal case against herein accused.” Lee noted that Reyes’s allegedly receiving allowance and using an official vehicle from the city government of Makati cast doubt on herpartiality in his syndicated estafa case.
Reyes ordered the arrest of Lee last year on estafa charges allegedly involving HDMF funds used for his Xeve-ra home projects in Mabalacat City and Bacolor town in this province. Lee noted that Reyes ordered him arrested in March 2014 despite a ruling from the Court of Appeals (CA) lifting her order and asking her to “cease and desist” from proceeding with the cases against him in November, 2013.
During the 2010 national elections, Lee was reported to have thrown his support for then vice presidential candidate Mar Roxas whom Binay defeated. After he assumed post as vice president, Binay was also named HUDCC chair.
At least twice, Reyes had also junked a request from the Senate for Lee to appear as resource person in its hearings on the Xevera housing case and, recently, on reported anomalies in the HUDCC allegedly involving the vice president. “Negative impressions of judges ultimately taint the integrity and independence of the judiciary and the legal system as a whole,” Lee said in his motion.
Lee said that “the continued display by the Honorable Presiding Judge of manifest bias and partiality in favor of the private complainant HDMF and against herein accused, erodes the trust and confidence of the accused to the administration of justice before its sala.”
Lee’s legal counsel Willie Rivera also pointed out alleged “grave indiscretions” of Reyes, including her past junking of similar motions to inhibit herself from Lee’s case, despite the latter’s filing of disbarment and administrative cases against her.
Lee’s motion noted that Reyes “is vying for a position before the Court of Appeals and the Sandiganbayan” and that “in the pendency of the said administrative and disbarment cases, there is no way that the Honorable Presiding Judge will be appointed as justice in either Court of Appeals or the Sandiganbayan because that is not allowed by the JBC Rules.”
“This is one reason why herein accused believes that the Honorable Presiding Judge is getting even with him (Lee) by denying all his motions even if they are legally correct,” the motion said.
The motion also said Reyes proceeded with the trial of Lee “without any valid pre-trial.” Rivera said Lee also accused Reyes of “denying him of evidence to support his defensewhen it (court) denied herein accused’s Ad Cautelam Motion for Production, Inspection and Copying of Documents.”
The motion asked Reyes to inhibit herself “from resolving any and all pending motions and incidents and conducting any further proceedings” in the cases against Lee. Rivera said that Lee plans to file administrative cases against Reyes should she again junk the latest motion for her inhibition from his case.