Appeals court clears Delfin Lee, keeps HDO

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THE Court of Appeals has cleared Globe Asiatique President Delfin Lee of the crime of syndicated estafa but it did not lift the hold departure order (HDO) against the businessman.

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In a resolution penned by Associate Justice Franchito Diamante and concurred in by Associate Justices Agnes Reyes-Carpio and Melchor Sadang, the CA’s former Special 15th Division noted the clarificatory motion for judgment but denied Lee’s motion for a partial reconsideration.

In denying the motion, the Court said the issue involving the HDO “was never raised in the petition that was brought before [the court.]”

It added that as a judicial courtesy, it will no longer touch the case because it has reached the Supreme Court.

The appellate court ruled that Lee had asked for the quashing of the warrant of arrest issued by Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes of the San Fernando, Pampanga RTC-Branch 42.

In clearing Lee, the Court of Appeals said “for estafa to have been committed by a syndicate, the act must be committed by five or more persons.”

Upon orders of Vice President Jejomar Binay, the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF or Pag-IBIG Fund) asked the appellate court to reconsider its decision nullifying the arrest warrant issued against Lee and other officials of Globe Asiatique.

Lee and several others were accused of using fake documents and ghost borrowers to acquire P7 billion in loans from Pag-IBIG.

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