CA junks Delfin Lee habeas corpus bid

Posted at 03/13/14 7:27 PM

MANILA - The Court of Appeals (CA) junked embattled property developer Delfin Lee's plea to be released from detention, citing a Supreme Court (SC) restraining order that prevented the execution of the appellate court's ruling that quashed the warrant for Lee's arrest.

In an 8-page resolution resolution, dated March 13, 2014, signed by Associate Justices Manuel Barrios, Normandie Pizarro, and Stephen Cruz, the appellate court's Special First Division junked Lee's petition for peremptory writ of habeas corpus filed last Monday.

The CA cited the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the SC on Wednesday preventing the implementation of the CA's Nov. 7, 2013 decision which Lee invoked in his plea.

The CA ruling had quashed the warrant of arrest issued by the Pampanga Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 42 against Lee on the charge of syndicated estafa, and ordered the lower court to cease and desist from proceeding with Lee's trial.

The TRO that restrained the CA decision was handed down by the high court's Third Division; it was received by the CA on the day the summary hearing on Lee was conducted, and received by the CA on the same day.

In view of the TRO, the appellate court, ruling on Lee's petition for the habeas corpus writ, pointed out that "the arrest and consequent detention of petitioner Delfin S. Lee is pursuant to a legal process."

"In light of this development, the issue of whether the decision dated 07 November 2013... is executory and effective has become academic.

"[T]he Extremely Urgent Petition for Peremptory Writ of Habeas Corpus is denied," the CA said.