CA blocks ruling that favored Delfin Lee


MANILA, Philippines - The Court of Appeals stopped a lower court from enforcing its ruling that granted the civil suit of Global Asiatique (GA) founder Delfin Lee against Home Development Mutual Fund, better known as the Pag-IBIG fund.

The CA issued a temporary restraining order on March 27 halting Judge Eugene Paras of Makati regional trial court branch 28 from implementing his 2012 judgment ruling. In a resolution dated Dec 7, 2012, Cruz ruled that HDMF breached the provisions of the funding commitment agreements it entered into with GA. 

HDMF cancelled the said agreements following allegations that GA used fictitious borrowers to secure loans from the housing loan agency. Lee, his son Dexter, GA Accounting Head Cristina Salagan and Pag-IBIG lawyer Alex Alvarez were charged with syndicated estafa over alleged P7-billion housing loans extended to "ghost" borrowers.

President Benigno Aquino III has set a P2-million peso reward for information leading to Lee's arrest.

The arrest warrant was deemed recalled in February, however, after the CA 10th division affirmed an earlier ruling dismissing syndicated estafa charges against one of the accused, GA official Cristina Sagun.

Lee filed a civil case against HDMF after the cancellation. Paras ruled in his favor, saying HDMF could not just renege on the agreements because it was the agency itself that approved the loan application of the spurious borrowers. 

The HDMF argued though that Paras ruled on the case without a formal presentation of evidence. 

The CA, in a decision penned by Justice Stephen Cruz, said that allowing the Makati court's decision to be implemented would cause not only HDMF, but also the public general, "irreparable injury." -