DOJ appeals SC ruling downgrading case vs Delfin Lee


In July, the SC voted 7-5 with two abstentions to affirm a Court of Appeals (CA) ruling and dismiss the petition filed by the DOJ and Home Development Mutual Fund.
Edd Gumban/File
 
Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2018 - 12:00am 
 
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Justice (DOJ) sought yesterday a reversal of a Supreme Court (SC) ruling that downgraded the charges filed against property developer Delfin Lee to simple estafa and allowed him to post bail.

In a 47-page motion for reconsideration filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, the DOJ insisted that Lee and his co-accused – Globe Asiatique vice president Dexter Lee, accounting head Cristina Salagan, documentation head Christina Sagun and PagIBIG foreclosure manager Alex Alvarez – “clearly committed fraud,” adding that all elements of syndicated estafa are present in the case.

In July, the SC voted 7-5 with two abstentions to affirm a Court of Appeals (CA) ruling and dismiss the petition filed by the DOJ and Home Development Mutual Fund.

The apellate court said syndicated estafa would not apply because the law requires at least five respondents. The charges against Alvarez and Sagun had earlier been dismissed.

Insiders said a reversal of the SC ruling is probable, citing the close margin in the voting.                 
Lee was indicted for syndicated estafa for allegedly defrauding the government of P6.6 billion in housing loan proceeds, which probers found fictitious or had incomplete documents.

He was arrested on March 6, 2014 based on a warrant issued by the Pampanga Regional Trial Court Branch 42.
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