Delfin Lee files complaint against judge

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In an 11-page complaint with the Office of the Court Administrator, Mr. Lee accused San Fernando RTC Executive Judge Divina Luz P. Aquino-Simbulan of gross ignorance of the law, usurpation of official functions, and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Mr. Lee claimed Ms. Simbulan, through an emissary, offered to interfere in his syndicated estafa case in exchange for a brand-new Nissan Patrol. The head judge was able to befriend and ask him questions without the presence of his lawyers, he also alleged.

Ms. Simbulan, the complaint claimed, promised to write the judge handling his case, Branch 42 Judge Maria Amifaith S. Fider-Reyes, to issue favorable court orders.

Mr. Lee said that despite not giving in to the request, Ms. Simbulan wrote Ms. Fider-Reyes in April to allow the granting of an interview with GMA Network.

When the Branch 41 judge nevertheless declined to do so, Ms. Simbulan “told me that she could do nothing because Judge Fider-Reyes is ‘weird’ and ‘boba [stupid],’ but promised me instead to do everything she could to make my life easy at the provincial jail.”

But when Mr. Lee said he could not give her the car, Ms. Simbulan allegedly retaliated by closing down the jail bakery he donated money to put up.

This also led to the judge’s supposed recommendation to Ms. Fider-Reyes, as earlier reported by the media, for his transfer to the Telabastagan district jail over the presence of supposed special accommodations at the Pampanga Provincial Jail.

Because of these, Mr. Lee sought to have Ms. Simbulan removed from her post for rendering the opinion that he could be interviewed despite Ms. Fider-Reyes’ inclination against it, as well as coordinating with the officials of Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) for his transfer despite the lack of an order.

He also sought criminal prosecution for usurpation of power and extortion, as well as her disbarment.

Mr. Lee was captured by police on March 2014, after two years in hiding. He is accused of defrauding the Pag-IBIG Fund of over P6.6 billion through supposed fake borrowers in the Xevera socialized housing project in Pampanga.

The project -- a partnership between the Pag-IBIG Fund and Globe Asiatique -- allowed workers in the informal sector to avail themselves of the government’s housing program, with the government extending the developer a “funding commitment line (FCL).” Pag-IBIG later discovered alleged anomalies in the Xevera accounts when around 300 buyers either surrendered or were no longer interested in continuing the housing loans.

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