Delfin Lee seeks inhibition of judge

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    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.     

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