Accused housing-scam brain files case vs Pampanga judge

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DELFIN Lee, accused of trying to scam taxpayers money in a public housing fund, has formally lodged an administrative and criminal complaint before the Supreme Court (SC) against the executive judge of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in San Fernando, Pampanga.

In a five-page verified complaint filed on Thursday with the SC Office of the Court Administrator, Lee accused RTC Executive Judge Divina Luz Simbulan of direct extortion.

Lee also accused Simbulan, who is pushing for his transfer from the provincial jail to a city jail, of gross ignorance of the law. Lee said Simbulan is “interfering with the jurisdiction of RTC, Branch 42 of San Fernando, Pampanga, presided by Judge Maria Amifaith Fider-Reyes.”

Lee also sought the disbarment of Simbulan for supposed violation of Code of Professional Conduct of Lawyers.

He is seeking the dismissal of Judge Simbulan from the service for “meddling” in the P6.6-billion syndicated estafa case against him pending before the sala of Fider-Reyes.

He also asked the SC to refer the case to the Ombudsman for criminal investigation and prosecution against the judge for violation of Section 3 (b) & (e) of Republic Act 3019 for “directly soliciting a brand- new Nissan Patrol from me in exchange for her favorable opinion for me to be interviewed by the media and for causing undue injury to me.”

“Sometime in April Judge Simbulan, through an emissary of her husband Regional State Prosecutor [RSP] Jesus Simbulan, offered to help me to be interviewed by GMA Network Inc. in exchange for one brand-new Nissan Patrol, because, according to them, I will not be allowed by Judge Fider-Reyes to be interviewed by the media. But since Judge Simbulan is the executive judge, she can issue a written opinion so persuasive that Judge Fider-Reyes will have no choice but to accede,” the complaint read.

The complaint said he turned down the demand of Simbulan, saying that he is “financially distressed” due to the cases filed against him, which affected all his businesses.

“In view of my refusal to give Judge Simbulan and RSP Simbulan the brand-new Nissan Patrol that they are demanding or soliciting from me, Judge Simbulan caused the closure of the bakery, which was being used by the provincial jail in training the inmates to learn some sort of livelihood, because Judge Simbulan heard from other inmates that I donated some money in putting up the said bakery,” Lee claimed.

Lee also linked Judge Simbulan’s letter to Judge Fider-Reyes a letter dated October 29, 2015, advising the latter to transfer him to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMPP) Telabastagan without offering any valid ground, and without waiting for the Order of Judge Fider-Reyes whose court has jurisdiction over my case.

He noted that Judge Simbulan even personally coordinated with BJMP officials of Telabastagan for his immediate transfer and represented to them that she has the authority to order his transfer.

In a supplemental letter, Judge Simbulan even suggested that Lee be transferred to BJMP Arayat, which is an hour away from the court, Lee said in his complaint.

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