CITY OF SAN FERNANDO – After hiding as fugitive for two years and then being jailed for another four and a half years, Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings (GA) owner Delfin Lee is expected to enjoy liberty soon after the Supreme Court reduced the charges against him from unbailable syndicated estafa to simple estafa.
“I feel vindicated. Still, I still have to clear my name totally since I never committed even simple estafa,” Lee told Punto in his jail cell at the provincial jail here yesterday, after he received copy of the Supreme Court which decided 6-4 in his favor.
Lee said he now plans to have a dialogue with officials of the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) which is the complainant in the charges against him. The syndicated estafa case was brought against him during the term of then Vice President Jejomar Binay who was also then czar during the administration of ex-Pres. Benigno Aquino III.
“Pag-IBIG Fund has always been an ally. I have been dealing with the agency for more than two decades before my arrest,” he stressed.
Lee said he expected to be entitled to bail within two weeks after all procedures reducing the charges against him have been finished.
“I was told the bail for simple estafa could be only about P40,000,” he added.
In April 2015, Lee, through his counsel Willie Rivera, issued a statement accusing Binay of being behind the charges against him for his junking the alleged request of Binay for P200 million donation during the campaign for vice president in the 2010 elections.
While the law prescribes the involvement of at least five persons to constitute syndicated estafa, only Lee has stayed in jail among those who were initially named as respondents in the case.
The case stemmed from his two Xevera subdivision housing projects in Mabalacat City and Bacolor town.
The Pag-IBIG Fund accused him of defrauding the government of some P6.6 billion in the projects which were placed under Pag-IBIG housing program.
He was accused of employing “ghost buyers” of Xevera housing units, a claim Lee vehemently denied.
Lee insisted that he did not get any kickback nor was there a double- sale of the housing units.
“It is all too easy to understand that I never have to introduce any fake or ghost buyers because our Xevera projects are salable on their own merits, possessing as they do amenities which are unheard of from any other existing subdivision projects,” he said.
Lee noted that Pag- IBIG Fund has never sent him any demand letter for the payment of the alleged P6.6 billion.
He also said that when he filed a civil case for specific performance against Pag-IBIG, the amount of the agency’s counterclaim specified only P12 million representing attorney’s fees.
He said the nine cases pending before the Supreme Court against him were appeals filed by Pag-IBIG Fund, “which only means… I won all the cases and Pag-IBIG Fund lost and opted to appeal the cases,” he added.housing