There’s a disturbing pattern of the rich and powerful successfully running rings around the justice system, and these people are invariably those who defraud or steal from the government big time.
Delfin Lee, president of Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp., is accused of syndicated estafa. There is no progress in the case against him. However, the Makati Regional Trial Court was quick to rule he had a right to seek damages from Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG.
The Court of Appeals recently affirmed the ruling.
Now, wait a minute there. Isn’t he facing charges for defrauding Pag-IBIG?
In his complaint Lee alleged that the refusal of the government agency to allow the substitution of loan borrowers found to be non-existent had caused his company irreparable damage. Hence the suit.
Lee and his son Dexter, along with three officers of Globe Asiatique, had been ordered arrested for syndicated estafa by the Regional Trial Court of Pampanga for defrauding Pag-IBIG through the use of ghost borrowers.
The whole scheme is reminiscent of the Janet Lim Napoles scam. It was blown sky-high by restive Globe Asiatique employees.
The way is now clear for Globe Asiatique to pursue the case. To our simple and uncomplicated mind that’s like giving Napoles the green light to claim damages from the Department of Agriculture, which she used as conduit to funnel lawmakers’ PDAF to her bogus NGOs?
According to the charges filed by DOJ, Globe Asiatique obtained P7.031 billion in housing loans from Pag-IBIG for housing projects in Bacolor and Mabalacat, both in Pampanga. It turned out that the beneficiaries who were supposed to occupy—and amortize—the 9,951 housing units did not exist at all. All documents, including the loan applications and the signatures in them, were spurious.
The loans were made out from March 2008 to August 2010. Under the law, Pag-IBIG can only lend P500 million a year to an accredited developer. That Pag-IBIG and Globe Asiatique conspired—no other word for it—to break the law and exceed the loan cap was bad enough. What makes it worse—and infinitely so—is that neither can account for the money.
Clearly, the damage suit was meant to win leverage, and yet the Makati trial court ruled that Globe Asiatique can indeed sue to recover its loss, although it is not clear how it incurred that loss.
If Globe Asiatique wins the case, Pag-IBIG members would have to pay up, and that would add injury—not just an insult—to another injury. But haven’t the members been defrauded of more than P7 billion already?
We cannot think of anything more ridiculous. Sure, Pag-IBIG, then led by Miro Quimbo, caused somebody irreparable harm, but that somebody was its members, not Lee and his cohorts.
Maybe Lee can sue Quimbo, who by the way has resurrected himself as Marikina representative in Congress. In fact, Pag-IBIG members, through the DOJ, should sue Quimbo not for damages but to send him to prison for the rest of his natural life.
This is not the first time Lee has initiated a case on his own. In April, he petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the government from prosecuting him, claiming that the cases, if allowed to continue, “would undoubtedly cause serious and irreparable injury and damage—damage that [petitioner]or his business may no longer recover from.”
Mercifully, the High Court has thrown out the petition.
The Pampanga trial court issued the warrant of arrest. It recommended no bail, but that’s cold comfort for the members who lost their money. The principal accused and his son remain at large.