COA disapproves Pag-ibig Fund’s offer of P1M bounty for Delfin LeeBy Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Commission on Audit has turned down the Home Development Mutual Fund”s request for permission to put up a P1-million reward for the capture of businessman Delfin Lee, owner of the controversial housing firm Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. and now a fugitive from justice.
The COA said the Home Development Mutual Fund, also known as Pag-ibig Fund, had no intelligence or discretionalry funds from which it could take the proposed bounty, Joey Salgado, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s spokesman, said Thursday. Binay is chairman of the Pag-ibig Fund board.
Pag-ibig Fund will now ask Malacañang to release the bounty from President Aquino’s intelligence fund, Salgado told the Inquirer.
Binay, the government’s so-called “housing czar,” had earlier proposed that Pag-ibig Fund put up the reward money. He said, “It’s more than a reasonable amount considering that Lee defrauded Pag-ibig Fund and its members of over P7 billion.”
“If this will lead to his arrest, it should be offered but subject to COA approval,” Binay said.
Salgado said, Binay’s office has no idea where Lee is hiding. “No sightings, so far,” he said.
He noted that Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo was reported as saying that Lee has left the country despite a standing warrant for his arrest on a syndicated estafa or fraud charge issued last May 22 by Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes of Branch 42 of the Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga.
Binay has asked the National Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Immigration to confirm that Lee has indeed left the country.
Binay expressed fear that if true, Lee’s escape would cause the public to lose trust in the government.
Early this year, Binay hailed the Court of Appeals’ decision allowing the filing of syndicated estafa charges against Lee and other Globe Asiatique executives.
Aside from Lee, the Department of Justice’s Task Force on Securities and Business Scams had recommended the filing of a syndicated estafa charges against the businessman’s son Dexter, Globe Asiatique officers Christina Sagun and Cristina Salagan and Pag-ibig Fund official Alex Alvarez.
The case stemmed from the purported anomalous loans amounting to more than P7 billion granted by Pag-ibig Fund to “ghost borrowers” who had allegedly bought homes in Globe Asiatique’s housing projects in Pampanga.
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=71787