Delfin Lee faces CA, says arrest illegal

Posted at 03/12/14 12:43 PM

MANILA - Globe Asiatique owner Delfin Lee faced the Court of Appeals Wednesday for the hearing on his habeas corpus petition, which said his arrest was illegal.

The Office of the Solicitor General, which represents the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation, tried to have the hearing postponed to 2 p.m., arguing that they had just received a copy of Lee's petition.

However, the CA gave them only 15 minutes to study the document, citing the urgency of the petition.

Lee arrived at the court past 8 a.m., wearing a bulletproof vest and in handcuffs. He was accompanied by his lawyers.

The hearing should have started at 10 a.m. but started at 10:28 a.m. when Assistant Solicitor General Hermes Ocampo arrived late. He was admonished in open court and asked to explain tardiness.

Ocampo said he stayed up until dawn to finish written compliance of CA to explain position in writing. The court accepted explanation.

Lee is accused of using ghost borrowers and fake documents to obtain P6.65 billion in loans from Pag-Ibig Fund in 2009. He was arrested by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) in a hotel in Manila on Thursday night.

He is currently detained at the Pampanga provincial jail.

Lee's camp has insisted that the arrest warrant against him has been quashed by the CA but the government asserts the warrant is valid because there is an appeal pending before the Supreme Court.

The CA is expected to rule on whether Lee should return to jail or walk free.