Written by Benjamin B. Pulta Tuesday, 03 November 2015 00:00
Controversial businessman Delfin Lee is crying foul over the moves by a Pampanga executive judge who is ordering the magistrate handling Lee’s case to move him to a less secure prison facility with the general inmate population in the region.
In an omnibus motion filed before the sala of Branch 42 San Fernando RTC Presiding Judge Maria Amifaith Fider-Reyes, Lee through his lawyer Salvador Viste Jr., asked the latter to conduct further verification of claims of special treatment being hurled against him before heeding the advise of Executive Judge Divina Luz Aquino-Simbulan.
The founder of the Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp., is asking the Supreme Court (SC) to look into the legality of the directive issued by the executive judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of San Fernando City ordering his transfer from the Pampanga Provincial Jail to a nearby prison facility under the supervision of the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).
Lee branded as mere “conjectures and hearsay” the allegations that he is being accorded special treatment at the provincial jail.
“Thus, it will be truly unfair for herein accused to be transferred to the BJMP Telabastagan and be incarcerated together with one hundred, more or less, common and hardened criminals, especially so the herein accused is not even a convicted felon,” Lee said.
He added that allowing his transfer would violate his constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty considering that the advise to transfer him to BJMP Telabastagan has no legal and factual bases.
Judge Simbulan, in a letter addressed to Judge Fider-Reyes, who is handling the syndicated estafa case filed against Lee and several others, insinuated that Lee was enjoying special treatment at the provincial jail where he has been detained since 2014.
The executive judge told Judge Fider-Reyes that during his surprise quarterly jail visitations he observed that Lee is detained at the second floor of the provincial jail that was newly reconstructed and rehabilitated.
She said there was a number of vacant detention cells at the said second floor and Lee was a solo inmate in his cell.
The executive judge added that she was surprised to see that there is a small gym in the vacant cell located adjoining Lee’s cell and that the detainee has a bodyguard.
Likewise, Judge Simbulan pointed out that Lee’s transfer to BJMP Telabastagan in San Fernando City, would be beneficial to his lawyer Wille Rivera who holds office near the prison facility.
Lee asked Judge Fider-Reyes to compel Judge Simbulan to testify and produce evidence to support his allegations if the latter would insist on his transfer.
He said Judge Simbulan should also be asked to execute a written personal undertaking to secure his safety in case his transfer pushes through and to take full responsibility for any consequence of such action.
Lee’s camp has also provided the SC through the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) a copy of its motion, requesting the latter to look into the validity of Judge Simbulan’s “advise.”
Lee is currently detained at the Pampanga provincial jail on earlier charges of syndicated estafa involving P6.6 billion in housing loan proceeds for home buyers.
Earlier, Lee’s camp had asked the Court of Appeals to quash a warrant issued by Pampanga RTC. The CA quashed the warrant but the SC has enjoined the CA from implementing its order.