Court enters not guilty plea for Lee

Posted at 03/14/14 6:14 PM

PAMPANGA – The Pampanga Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 42 entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Delfin Lee for the syndicated estafa case filed against him, after his camp failed to enter a plea during the businessman’s arraignment on Friday.

Lee’s lawyers expressed surprise that the businessman was asked to appear before the court.

They were expecting the court to only hear the motion that they were filing, insisting that their client did not have to be present.

During the arraignment, Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes ordered both parties to try mediation. They would proceed to court if they fail to reach an agreement, according Reyes.

According to Lee’s lawyers, they believe this is an indication that the court sees it as a civil case. They said mediation is usually ordered only for civil cases.

Lee’s camp declined to give an interview to the media, but an assistant of Lee said the Globe Asiatique owner is feeling fine and eating well, but "apprehensive about the course of the case."

During the hearing, Reyes did not rule on the motion filed by Lee’s lawyers, including a motion for the judge to inhibit herself from the case.

After the arraignment, BJMP officials escorted Lee back to the provincial jail. -- report from Raffy Santos, ANC