Delfin Lee asks SC to probe legality of jail transfer

MANILA, Philippines – Detained property developer Delfin Lee has asked the Supreme Court to look into the legality of a directive for his transfer from the Pampanga provincial jail to the Telabastagan detention facility in San Fernando City.

In a letter to San Fernando Regional Trial Court Branch 42 Presiding Judge Maria Amifaith Fider Reyes, Executive Judge Divina Luz Aquino Simbulan recommended Lee's transfer to the San Fernando facility because of the alleged special treatment that Lee was enjoying at the provincial jail, where he has been detained since 2014.

But Lee denied the claim, saying there was no legal and factual basis to order his transfer to the facility supervised by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP).

He added that Simbulan's allegations were mere "conjectures and hearsay."

"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 that herein accused is not even a convicted felon," Lee, through counsel Salvador Viste Jr, said.

In the letter, Simbulan said Lee was accorded special treatment as he was alone in his cell and even had a bodyguard. She added that Lee was detained at the newly rehabilitated second floor of the provincial jail.

Lee has asked Fider-Reyes to compel Simbulan to testify and back up her allegations.

Lee, owner of Globe Asiatique real estate company, is currently detained at the Pampanga jail for syndicated estafa charges filed by the justice department over the alleged use of ghost borrowers to obtain P6.6 billion loans from Pag-IBIG Fund in 2009. –