Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said he will ask for the cancellation of Globe Asiatique (GA) owner Delfin Lee’s passport if reports that the controversial property developer has left the country to evade arrest are confirmed.
Aside from cancelling Lee’s passport, the government could also request for Lee to be extradited back to the country, he added.
“Pag na-trace yan sa abroad, magpa-file sa pamahalaan na kung pwede ay pabalikin dito kasi may kaso. Para bang pinapa-cancel mo ‘yong pasaporte,” Binay said in an interview Thursday.
The GA owner has an outstanding warrant of arrest issued against him for syndicated estafa in connection to GA’s Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.
The Vice President said he feared Lee’s escape, if true, will lead to loss of the public’s trust in the government.
“Ito po ang mga pagkakataong nawawalan ng tiwala ang mga kababayan natin sapagkat maliwanag pa sa araw ang kasong ito at talagang hot issue ang kasong ‘yon,” he said.
Binay, the Chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC), said he will not allow Lee to escape arrest and vowed to help the public regain its trust in the country’s judicial system.
“Hindi po ako papayag. Ibabalik po natin ang tiwala ng taumbayan,” he said.
He added that he has written the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) to cofirm if Lee had indeed left the country.
“Please validate the reports quoting Secretary Jesse Robredo saying that Delfin Lee is already out of the country despite his outstanding warrant of arrest for syndicated estafa in Criminal Case No. 18480 issued on May 22, 2012 by Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes, Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando Pampanga, Branch 42. If confirmed, I would highly appreciate an immediate investigation on how a fugitive from justice can easily escape from our jurisdiction,” Binay said in his letter to the NBI and BI.
The Vice President said he was no longer questioning the apparent failure of the authorities to arrest Lee, but for the GA owner to be able to leave the country was another story.
“Kasi sa aking pagkaka-practice ng batas, magkaka-file po ng information. Pagka-issue ng warrant, yang warrant na yan pinapadala sa lahat ng agencies: sa CIDG, sa PNP, sa NBI. So, paano nga nakalabas kung nakalabas nga,” he said.
In October 2010, after he was named housing czar, Binay directed Pag-IBIG to investigate the fraudulent loans obtained by GA during the previous administration. It was revealed that GA used “ghost borrowers” and fake documents to obtain over P6.5 billion in loans from the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) for its Xevera housing project.
According to the investigation by the NBI, GA used fake documents such as TINs, marriage contracts, and identification cards for thousands of ghost buyers for the Xevera project.
Pag-IBIG and the Department of Justice subsequently filed syndicated estafa charges against Lee.
On May 22, Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes issued warrants of arrest with no recommendation for bail against Lee, his son Dexter, and other GA officials.
The housing czar remained hopeful that the case against Lee will not be neglected.
“Inaasahan ko at ng mga nabiktima sa Pampanga, dito sa pabahay na project ni Delfin Lee, na hindi pababayaan ang kaso,” he said.