Globe Asiatique head vows to prove innocence
- Non Alquitran () - September 12, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Breaking his long silence, Delfin Lee, president of Globe Asiatique, vowed yesterday to prove his innocence through legal means as he denied defrauding the Home Development Mutual Fund (HDMF) or cause damage to the Pag-Ibig Fund.

“The charges against us are a total lie. We did not borrow P6.6 billion. We did not defraud the government of a single centavo. We spent our own money to develop the Xevera projects,” said Lee.

He said the P6.6 billion was the aggregate amount released to GA over a certain period to cover for the almost 10,000 units in the Xevera projects after they were applied for and occupied by Pag-Ibig members.

The Xevera projects were first developed by GA before they were sold to Pag-Ibig members.

Lee said how could the Pag-Ibig Fund be disadvantaged when all the properties are secured and Pag-Ibig can sell the houses and lots to recover its funds in case all other legal options fail.

“The loan has collateral; we have funds in Pag-Ibig (escrow fund in the amount of P600 million); we have retention fund and pending takeout proceeds that can also be availed of by Pag-Ibig if those who bought houses are unable to pay,” he pointed out.

Lee said all the risks about the borrowers’ possibility of defaulting in their monthly amortizations are covered by safety nets under their Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) and Funding Commitment Agreement (FCA) with Pag-Ibig, including updating of payments of defaulting buyers by GA, replacement of defaulting buyers by GA and automatic offsetting of the payables to Pag-Ibig corresponding to the unpaid amortizations of the borrowers against the receivables of GA from Pag-Ibig.

The problem is Pag-Ibig refuses to accept payments from GA anymore or the replacement of defaulting buyers even though these mechanisms are provided in their agreements.

This is now the subject of a civil case before the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 58.

“Pag-Ibig’s damage is self-inflicted by them (Pag-Ibig) to strengthen their case against us and we cannot perform the guarantee,” he said in a statement.

Lee said there are no ghost or spurious buyers, only defaulting borrowers.

That’s the reason why they have offered to replace these defaulting borrowers as provided in their agreement with Pag-Ibig but the problem is the latter does not accept their offered replacements.

He said replacement of bad loans is just normal in the industry and GA has been doing this for the past 10 years. “Almost all developers receive a notice of buyback. Even credit card companies have bad debt allowance,” he stressed.

“We are the guarrantor of the buyers. If the buyer does not pay we have to update. If they cannot pay yet the monthly amortizations we do it temporarily. If they are no longer interested in the units, we look for other buyers or replace with new buyers,” Lee emphasized.

He said all the loans were covered by documents and it is Pag-Ibig that approved the Pag-Ibig members and the loans and if there is irregularity in their documentation, it is Pag-Ibig that is to blame.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Aug. 24 recommended the filing of syndicated estafa against Lee; his son, Dexter, who is Globe Asiatique’s executive vice president and chief finance officer; Christina Sagun, former head of GA’s Documentation Department; Cristina Salagan, head of GA’s Accounting/Finance Department; and lawyer Alex Alvarez, manager of the Foreclosure Department of the Pag-Ibig Fund.

The case stem-med from the complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation and Pag-Ibig against the respondents for allegedly conspiring to use “ghost” borrowers to obtain loans from Pag-Ibig and buy housing units at Xevera Bacolor in Pampanga.

Last week, Lee was able to obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO) from a Pasig RTC preventing the DOJ from filing a criminal case against him.

Last Monday, Pasig RTC Branch 167 Judge Rolando G. Mislang issued a writ of preliminary injunction restraining the DOJ from filing estafa case against Lee and from proceeding with the preliminary investigation of another estafa case pending the resolution of a civil case Lee filed against HDMF before the Makati RTC Branch 58.

Judge Mislang has given weight to Lee’s argument that the estafa cases and the civil case pending before the Makati RTC which he filed in November 2010 are similar or intimately related with each other and thus poses a prejudicial question which must first be resolved before the estafa case can proceed.

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