DELFIN LEE ASKED SC TO RELEASE HIM, STOP INDICTMENT

Delfin Lee asked the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday to immediately order his release from detention and stop his indictment on syndicated estafa charges. In two separate motions, he sought the dismissal of a Department of Justice (DOJ) petition questioning a Court of Appeals (CA) decision effectively dismissing the case against him and voiding the arrest warrant that the Pampanga Regional Trial Court (RTC) had issued. Lee also asked the SC to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping his release from the Pampanga provincial jail. Through lawyer Emmanuel Pichay, Lee reiterated the CA special 15th division’s ruling that Pampanga RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes erred in finding probable cause to charge him with syndicated estafa. “The simplistic disposition in the assailed resolution itself betrays Judge Reyes’ obvious failure to examine the records submitted by DOJ, wherein she simply relegated herself to accepting hook, line and sinker, the certification of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva that there exists a probable cause to indict herein respondent,” he said. “But apparently, Judge Reyes did not examine the records to guide her in her determination of the existence or nonexistence of probable cause.” Lee said the DOJ failed to comply with the rule on non-forum shopping in failing to inform the SC of other still pending cases, which are similar to its petition.

ALSO: Pag-IBIG blacklists borrowers who helped Globe Asiatique in ‘scam’

Members of state-owned Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) who allegedly helped Delfin Lee's Globe Asiatique in perpetrating an alleged housing scam will not be charged in court but they would no longer be allowed to borrow money from the lending institution. Lawyer Darlene Marie Berberabe, chief executive officer and Pag-IBIG president, said these borrowers have been disqualified from borrowing from Pag-IBIG again. "They have been blacklisted. They will never have the right to avail of loan," she said in a news forum in Manila on Monday. "Yung pagkakaso sa mga bogus borrowers [ay] hindi na namin pagtutuunan ng pansin. We were more into investigating the Pag-IBIG fund, who were the officers involved, studying the project and alin ang dapat alisin," said Berberabe. Lee, who was arrested two weeks ago, is facing syndicated estafa charges in connection with the alleged scam — an accusation he vehemently denied. Appeals are welcome

ALSO: Opisyal ng CBCP, naniniwalang may kasabwat si Delfin Lee sa ahensiya ng gobyerno

Umaasa ang isang opisyal ng Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) ng mas malalim na imbestigasyon sa umano'y housing scam na kinasasangkutan ng Globe Asiatique founder na si Delfin Lee. Ayon kay Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo, national director ng CBCP-NASSA, hindi magagawa ni Lee na mag-isa ang mga ibinibintang na P6 bilyong housing scam kung walang kasabwat sa sangay ng gobyerno gaya umano ng Pag-ibig Fund. "Kung seryoso ang pamahalaan laban sa katiwalian dapat ito ang tingnan nila. Hindi lamang maparusahan [ang mga nagkasala] kundi maibalik ang pera [ng mga biktima]. Hindi dapat isang tao lang ang puntiryahin kasi kasama rin ang Pag-ibig [Fund], posibleng may kinalaman din sila diyan,” pahayag ni Pabillo sa panayam ng Radyo Veritas. Ikinalulungkot din ng obispo na ang mga nagsisikap na mamamayan na naghahangad na magkaroon ng bahay ang nabiktima ng katiwalian. “Nakakalungkot sa scam na ito ang mga taong nadadamay, malilit na nagsisikap na magkaroon ng kanilang bahay. Bayad nang bayad tapos hindi mapupunta sa kanila ang bahay, nawala ang bayad nila," anang obispo.

ALSO: House to probe Delfin Lee in P7B housing scam

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has given the green light to the majority bloc to conduct a probe of the multibillion-peso housing scam allegedly perpetrated by detained businessman Delfin Lee during the Arroyo administration. Lee is the owner of Globe Asiatique Holdings Inc., which allegedly used “ghost buyers” to get close to P7 billion in loans from the Pag-Ibig Fund from 2008 to 2011. Belmonte said the House investigative body should invite not only Lee but also members of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s housing program team led by then Vice President Noli de Castro. “I approve of the probe because we have to know the guys who helped him (Lee),” said Belmonte, who cited thousands of individuals victimized by the Globe Asiatique-Pag-Ibig housing scam, some of whom were from his district in Quezon City. Asked if this included De Castro and then Pag-Ibig president Romero Quimbo (currently representative of Marikina), Belmonte said: “Dapat isama na sila lahat (They should all be included).” De Castro, an anchor of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.’s prime-time radio and television news programs, was appointed in 2004 chair of the Housing and Urban Development Council and ex-officio head of other housing bodies—Pag-Ibig Fund, National Housing Authority, Home National Home Mortgage and Finance Corp., Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, and Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC). Quimbo, a school buddy of Arroyo’s original housing czar Michael Defensor, was Pag-Ibig president from February 2003 to March 2009.

COMMENTARY: Who are Delfin Lee’s ’enablers’?

For the past week or so, the public had a front row seat to the media spectacle spawned by the capture of Globe Asiatique president Delfin Lee, one of the country’s most wanted fugitives and the alleged mastermind of the P6.6 billion Pag-Ibig housing loan scam. What the media coverage seemed to miss, however, was the “elephant in the room” – the “enablers” or the Pag-Ibig officials who made Lee’s scam possible. Lee obviously couldn’t have walked off with billions without the help of high-ranking Pag-Ibig bureaucrats. And if we were to go by the same Department of Justice (DOJ) resolution indicting Lee for syndicated estafa, the Aquino administration has already identified a few of them. In its 50-page resolution dated August 10, 2011, the DOJ recommended that an investigation be initiated by the Ombudsman for violation of the anti-graft law against former and present officials of Pag-Ibig, including then chief executive officers Romero “Miro” Quimbo, Jaime Fabian and other senior officers. Oddly, while the Palace appears hell bent on putting Lee behind bars judging by its recent statements, it has been deafeningly quiet about going after Pag-Ibig officials implicated in the housing loan racket. In fact, many folks are wondering why the Palace isn’t gunning for Pag-Ibig executives linked to the scam with the same fervor as when they went after former Chief Justice Renato Corona. Indeed, it’s quite disappointing that almost two year after Lee’s indictment, no top Pag-Ibig official has been charged, let alone arrested and jailed, for this billion-peso scam. Is Malacañang’s seeming apathy due to the fact that one of those being implicated in the scam is a congressman and spokesman of the Liberal Party (LP) and a close PNoy ally? Being one of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s fair-haired boys, Quimbo was appointed as Pag-Ibig’s deputy chief executive officer in 2001 soon after the ouster of ex-President Erap Estrada. A year later, Quimbo was promoted by Arroyo to president and chief executive officer, a post he held until 2009.


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Delfin Lee to SC: Release me

MANILA, MARCH 24, 2014 (PHILSTAR)  By Edu Punay - Delfin Lee asked the Supreme Court (SC) yesterday to immediately order his release from detention and stop his indictment on syndicated estafa charges.

In two separate motions, he sought the dismissal of a Department of Justice (DOJ) petition questioning a Court of Appeals (CA) decision effectively dismissing the case against him and voiding the arrest warrant that the Pampanga Regional Trial Court (RTC) had issued.

Lee also asked the SC to lift the temporary restraining order (TRO) stopping his release from the Pampanga provincial jail.

Through lawyer Emmanuel Pichay, Lee reiterated the CA special 15th division’s ruling that Pampanga RTC Branch 42 Presiding Judge Amifaith Fider-Reyes erred in finding probable cause to charge him with syndicated estafa.

“The simplistic disposition in the assailed resolution itself betrays Judge Reyes’ obvious failure to examine the records submitted by DOJ, wherein she simply relegated herself to accepting hook, line and sinker, the certification of Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Theodore Villanueva that there exists a probable cause to indict herein respondent,” he said.

“But apparently, Judge Reyes did not examine the records to guide her in her determination of the existence or nonexistence of probable cause.”

Lee said the DOJ failed to comply with the rule on non-forum shopping in failing to inform the SC of other still pending cases, which are similar to its petition.

“It did not disclose the pendency of the other cases which were disclosed in the certificate of non-forum shopping attached in the petition for review of petitioner HDMF (Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-Ibig Fund)... for cases involving Globe Asiatique Realty Holdings Corp. and HDMF,” he said.

In his petition for writ of habeas corpus, Lee told the CA that his arrest last March 6 was illegal since it had already “quashed, recalled and lifted” the arrest warrant.

Rebutting the claim, the DOJ and Pag-Ibig said the CA ruling was not final and executory and therefore could not be enforced.

Invoking Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, they questioned the ruling before the SC and argued that a TRO is not necessary to stay the implementation of the CA ruling.

The SC’s third division issued the TRO last week.

Binay informed Aquino of Lee case

Vice President Jejomar Binay said yesterday that President Aquino was informed that Lee was involved in a multibillion-peso housing scam.

The chairman of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC) and the Pag-Ibig Fund said he was able to inform Aquino about Lee’s case while still under investigation for his alleged involvement in siphoning off P6.6 billion through a loan in Pag-Ibig using “ghost buyers and double sale” of housing units in Xevera Subdivision in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

“The President knows about Lee’s case. I told the President even during the time that we were investigating his case. I told the President that sir, this is a big transaction. Billions of pesos are involved here.”

Binay said one proof that Aquino knows Lee’s case involved multibillion-peso transactions was his decision to set a P2-million reward for Lee’s arrest.

He also informed Aquino about the claims of HUDCC deputy secretary-general Daniel Subido that police officers were considering releasing Lee and that they had to be reassured of the legality of the warrant of arrest.

Subido said that Binay immediately sent him to Camp Crame to ensure that the rule of law would be applied and proper procedure would be followed.

“It is incredulous for the Philippine National Police (PNP) to even consider releasing an apprehended accused based on the mere representations of the latter’s lawyer on the purported invalidity of the warrant of arrest,” he said.

Subido said the events that occurred immediately after the arrest of Lee prove that certain influential people were pressuring police to release him.

Police: No more Lee-like confusion

Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) director, said they will now coordinate with the courts on matters involving legal issues to avoid confusion similar to the case of Lee.

“There is now a process, a protocol to make sure that it will not happen again,” he said.

Magalong said PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima has comprehensively discussed the matter.

“(The lesson learned) is due diligence. We will make sure that we will

clarify in the courts and in our legal service before we do that (delisting).”

Magalong said the important aspect of the new policy is coordination with the courts.

It was apparently not done in the case of Lee, he admitted.

When Lee was arrested, his lawyer presented a certification with Magalong’s signature showing that his client had been taken off the list of wanted persons.

Lee’s lawyer questioned the legality of his arrest on March 6, and presented another letter with a similar content that Purisima had signed.

However, Purisima said the delisting of Lee did not push through after the Department of Justice (DOJ) informed them about its appeal against lifting of the arrest warrant against him.

Lee, along with retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan, brothers Mario and Joel Reyes and former lawmaker Ruben Ecleo remain on the list of wanted persons, Magalong said.

Bomb threat while Lee in court

A bomb threat was received in the Pampanga Regional Trial Court in San Fernando City where Lee was being arraigned yesterday morning.– With Jose Rodel Clapano, Cecille Suerte Felipe, Ric Sapnua

FROM GMA NEWS NETWORK

Pag-IBIG blacklists borrowers who helped Globe Asiatique in ‘scam’ By AMITA LEGASPI, GMA NewsMarch 17, 2014 12:54pm 125 40 0 171

Members of state-owned Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) who allegedly helped Delfin Lee's Globe Asiatique in perpetrating an alleged housing scam will not be charged in court but they would no longer be allowed to borrow money from the lending institution.

Lawyer Darlene Marie Berberabe, chief executive officer and Pag-IBIG president, said these borrowers have been disqualified from borrowing from Pag-IBIG again.

"They have been blacklisted. They will never have the right to avail of loan," she said in a news forum in Manila on Monday.

"Yung pagkakaso sa mga bogus borrowers [ay] hindi na namin pagtutuunan ng pansin. We were more into investigating the Pag-IBIG fund, who were the officers involved, studying the project and alin ang dapat alisin," said Berberabe.

Lee, who was arrested two weeks ago, is facing syndicated estafa charges in connection with the alleged scam — an accusation he vehemently denied.

Appeals are welcome

During the forum, Berberabe said she cannot give the exact number of affected members, but added those whose names have been used by Globe Asiatique without their knowledge can still appeal their case.

"Pag ikaw blacklisted, pwedeng idulog ang case and we will review it. Kung ginamit lang pangalan we will also have room for reconsideration," she said.

"Pero sa iba na may testigo na pinagamit yung pangalan, ibang kaso yun. Unclean hands ka rin. Alam mo na nga na gagamitin tapos pumayag ka pa," Berberabe added.

She said they have witnesses that said some of the borrowers were paid P5,000 by Globe Asiatique to secure a housing loan from Pag-IBIG.

Some 10,000 Pag-IBIG members have a loan to get a unit of Globe Asiatique in Xevera-Mabalacat, Xevera-Bacolor and Samira.

Of the number, only 40 percent are real borrowers. A fourth of the 40 percent are paying Pag-IBIG while the others say they have paid the full amount to Globe Asiatique.

Reforms

To prevent a similar scam from happening again, the Pag-IBIG head said they implemented reforms and removed programs that are vulnerable to abuse.

Berberabe said they are now implementing a pre-inspection and pre-validation before releasing a loan and the borrower should personally come to their office to verify his identity.

In the past, Pag-IBIG delegated the task of evaluating and checking the borrowers and approve the loan to the "developers with good track record" with the lending agency doing the post-validation.

"Pag-IBIG is now the one evaluating, checking the member. Marami kaming natatanggap na reklamo na mabagal at mahigpit ang Pag-IBIG ngayon pero we felt na yun ang tamang gawin, yun talaga ang responsibility ng isang lender," Berberabe said.

A stricter borrower evaluation system is also in place, she said.

"We will ask for information if you are a high-risk or low-risk borrower and check your credit history," Berberabe said.

Pag-IBIG has also removed the buy-back guarantee arrangement with developers which allowed the latter to put a replacement borrower in case the first borrower fails to pay.

"It is good on paper but prone to abuse," admitted Berberabe, adding they have also adjusted the loan to value ratio down to 80 percent for loans P1.25 million and up.

"Halimbawa kung ang appraised value [ng property] ay P1 million, wag kang mag-release ng P1 million. P800,000 ang ipahiram mo para may stake yung humihiram, para mahirapan siyang iwan yung utang," she said.

Berberabe said they are in the process of transferring the land titles used in the alleged scam to Pag-IBIG.

"3,000 titles are already on our name and ready for disposal. Kailangang dumaan sa other government agencies, sa pagbayad ng tax sa BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) at paglipat ng pangalan sa Registry of Deeds," she said.

Recover losses

Berberabe also expressed hope Pag-IBIG will be able to recover the losses it incurred due to the problem with Globe Asiatique.

"Kaya sa court (naka-file yung case) we hope to civilly recover...dapat yung pera na sinabi ng buyer na ibinayad sa inyo (Globe Asiatique) e mabawi ng Pag-IBIG fund. Sana buhay pa ako pag nangyari yun," she said during the forum.

If Delfin Lee will not have enough money to pay Pag-IBIG, the court will issue an order to get his properties.

"Normally pag pending ang case at nakikita na mukhang mauubusan ng pera itong akusado, meron tayong tinatawag na (attachment) kailangan mareserve na, ma-attach na yung mga properties ng Globe Asiatique," she said.

"So kita naman na yung ibang condominiums, ang kailangan dun ay maipa-attach para hindi na siya mabenta sa ibang buyers, para hindi na niya mailipat o maidispose o maencash para makarecover naman (ang Pag-IBIG)," Berberabe added.

Asked if Pag-IBIG has already identified properties of Lee that can be attached, Berberabe said they have yet to discuss it.

"Sa ngayon wala pa kami sa puntong yun sapagkat nagkagulo pa lang kami nung nakita yung mga decisions na lumabas last week. It was a pleasant surprise for all of us na nahuli siya at na-arraign siya last week. So ngayon pa lang tutuloy yung prosecution," she said.

" I'm sure that's one of the issues that we have to discuss with our lawyers," she added. Berberabe said even Lee's properties may not be enough to pay Pag-IBIG.

"Kasama na po yun (pagkalugi ng Pag-IBIG) sa pwedeng maging eventuality kahit po halimbawa yung property, yung collateral na sinasabi natin, pagka ibinenta, parang condominium na every year, kung P1 million siya nung 2009, so ngayon baka pwedeng ibenta P800,000 na lang o P750,000, so pababa nang pababa ang value," she said.

"Hindi niya pwedeng sabihin na porke may property, may collateral, ok ka na wag ka nang umiyak dyan. Sapagkat kakapusin ho talaga kung collateral ang hahabulin mo kasi gagasta ka sa pag maintain, sa paglilipat sa pangalan mo, yung lapse of time, bibilang ka ng buwan o taon para makapagdispose ka," Berberabe explained. — KBK/JDS, GMA News

Opisyal ng CBCP, naniniwalang may kasabwat si Delfin Lee sa ahensiya ng gobyerno March 14, 2014 11:48pm 473 15 0 488


Historical Pampanga jail now houses Delfin Lee Historical Pampanga jail now houses Delfin Lee. A century-old facility in San Fernando, Pampanga, has become the detention cell of Globe Asiatique founder and syndicated estafa suspect Delfin Lee. Built in 1909 under the design of American William Parsons, it became a Japanese garrison during World War II and has recently been renovated. Lee is its first inmate. Ruston Banal

Umaasa ang isang opisyal ng Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) ng mas malalim na imbestigasyon sa umano'y housing scam na kinasasangkutan ng Globe Asiatique founder na si Delfin Lee.

Ayon kay Manila auxiliary bishop Broderick Pabillo, national director ng CBCP-NASSA, hindi magagawa ni Lee na mag-isa ang mga ibinibintang na P6 bilyong housing scam kung walang kasabwat sa sangay ng gobyerno gaya umano ng Pag-ibig Fund.

"Kung seryoso ang pamahalaan laban sa katiwalian dapat ito ang tingnan nila. Hindi lamang maparusahan [ang mga nagkasala] kundi maibalik ang pera [ng mga biktima]. Hindi dapat isang tao lang ang puntiryahin kasi kasama rin ang Pag-ibig [Fund], posibleng may kinalaman din sila diyan,” pahayag ni Pabillo sa panayam ng Radyo Veritas.

Ikinalulungkot din ng obispo na ang mga nagsisikap na mamamayan na naghahangad na magkaroon ng bahay ang nabiktima ng katiwalian.

“Nakakalungkot sa scam na ito ang mga taong nadadamay, malilit na nagsisikap na magkaroon ng kanilang bahay. Bayad nang bayad tapos hindi mapupunta sa kanila ang bahay, nawala ang bayad nila," anang obispo.

Sa mga nakaraang panayam, itinanggi ni Lee ang mga paratang laban sa kaniya, kabilang na ang alegasyon na nagkaroon ng dobleng pagbebenta ng kaniyang housing projects.

Basahin: Delfin Lee: No double sale occurred

Payo naman ni Pabillo sa publiko, laging maging mapagmatyag at mapanuri upang hindi maging lider ang mga opisyal na nasasangkot sa katiwalian.

“Maganda ang mga tao dapat sinusuri [ang mga lider] kasi kapag 'di natin binabantayan madaling madaya tayo ng mga lider na ito," aniya.

Sa hiwalay na panayam ng nasabing himpilan ng radyo, inihayag naman ni Fr. Nonong Fajardo, priest-in-charge ng housing program ng Caritas Manila, na ang kaso ni Lee ay pagpapakita ng kawalan ng maayos na programa sa pabahay ng gobyerno at kakulangan ng mekanismo para protektahan ang mamamayan sa mga anomalya sa pabahay.

Umaasa ang pari na hindi na hahayaan ng pamahalaan na maulit ang nangyaring pananamantala ng negosyante sa mga taong nagnanais na magkaroon ng kanilang bahay. -- MP/FRJ, GMA News

FROM THE INQUIRER

House to probe Delfin Lee in P7B housing scam By Gil C. Cabacungan Philippine Daily Inquirer 4:43 am | Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 13 236


http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/files/2012/12/19belmonte.jpg
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.: Green light. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has given the green light to the majority bloc to conduct a probe of the multibillion-peso housing scam allegedly perpetrated by detained businessman Delfin Lee during the Arroyo administration.
Lee is the owner of Globe Asiatique Holdings Inc., which allegedly used “ghost buyers” to get close to P7 billion in loans from the Pag-Ibig Fund from 2008 to 2011.
Belmonte said the House investigative body should invite not only Lee but also members of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s housing program team led by then Vice President Noli de Castro.
“I approve of the probe because we have to know the guys who helped him (Lee),” said Belmonte, who cited thousands of individuals victimized by the Globe Asiatique-Pag-Ibig housing scam, some of whom were from his district in Quezon City.
Asked if this included De Castro and then Pag-Ibig president Romero Quimbo (currently representative of Marikina), Belmonte said: “Dapat isama na sila lahat (They should all be included).”
De Castro, an anchor of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corp.’s prime-time radio and television news programs, was appointed in 2004 chair of the Housing and Urban Development Council and ex-officio head of other housing bodies—Pag-Ibig Fund, National Housing Authority, Home National Home Mortgage and Finance Corp., Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board, and Home Guaranty Corp. (HGC).
Quimbo, a school buddy of Arroyo’s original housing czar Michael Defensor, was Pag-Ibig president from February 2003 to March 2009.
Quimbo admitted that it was under his watch that Globe Asiatique and Pag-Ibig implemented a pilot lending program for Lee’s Xevera subdivision projects in Pampanga province.
But Quimbo said it was after he was “fired” that Lee’s loans from Pag-Ibig ballooned.
Abakada Rep. Jonathan de la Cruz said that the housing scam should be included in the probe being conducted by the House committee on good government and accountability on HGC’s P13.926-billion debt.
De la Cruz said there could have been no scam had HGC not been forced to borrow money that it could not pay just to bankroll Pag-Ibig’s lending spree during the Arroyo administration.
“Mr. Lee could not secure the loan from Pag-Ibig without being guaranteed by HGC. Without the HGC guarantee, there would be no Pag-Ibig loan and there would be no Delfin Lee,” De la Cruz said.

Who are Delfin Lee’s ’enablers’? March 17, 2014 11:13 pm by ATTY. DODO DULAY FLIPSIDE


Atty. Dodo Dulay

For the past week or so, the public had a front row seat to the media spectacle spawned by the capture of Globe Asiatique president Delfin Lee, one of the country’s most wanted fugitives and the alleged mastermind of the P6.6 billion Pag-Ibig housing loan scam.
What the media coverage seemed to miss, however, was the “elephant in the room” – the “enablers” or the Pag-Ibig officials who made Lee’s scam possible.
Lee obviously couldn’t have walked off with billions without the help of high-ranking Pag-Ibig bureaucrats. And if we were to go by the same Department of Justice (DOJ) resolution indicting Lee for syndicated estafa, the Aquino administration has already identified a few of them.
In its 50-page resolution dated August 10, 2011, the DOJ recommended that an investigation be initiated by the Ombudsman for violation of the anti-graft law against former and present officials of Pag-Ibig, including then chief executive officers Romero “Miro” Quimbo, Jaime Fabian and other senior officers.
Oddly, while the Palace appears hell bent on putting Lee behind bars judging by its recent
statements, it has been deafeningly quiet about going after Pag-Ibig officials implicated in the housing loan racket. In fact, many folks are wondering why the Palace isn’t gunning for Pag-Ibig executives linked to the scam with the same fervor as when they went after former Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Indeed, it’s quite disappointing that almost two year after Lee’s indictment, no top Pag-Ibig official has been charged, let alone arrested and jailed, for this billion-peso scam.
Is Malacañang’s seeming apathy due to the fact that one of those being implicated in the scam is a congressman and spokesman of the Liberal Party (LP) and a close PNoy ally?
Being one of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s fair-haired boys, Quimbo was appointed as Pag-Ibig’s deputy chief executive officer in 2001 soon after the ouster of ex-President Erap Estrada. A year later, Quimbo was promoted by Arroyo to president and chief executive officer, a post he held until 2009.
It was during Quimbo’s term that Pag-Ibig began its pilot housing loan program for Other
Working Groups (OWG) or workers who are not formally employed but earn money through small businesses. This OWG program is what enabled Lee to siphon billions of pesos in loan proceeds from Pag-Ibig using “ghost” buyers.
Insiders say Pag-Ibig relaxed its requirements to make it easier and faster for Globe Asiatique to obtain loan approvals for its alleged buyers. This much was confirmed by Lee who confessed that the OWG program and its adjusted rules, including the reduction of membership requirements, were offshoots of a “compromise” between him and Quimbo.
The scheme was apparently so successful that some P1.925-billion was released to Lee’s Globe Asiatique during Quimbo’s term.
Understandably, Quimbo is now trying to wash his hands of any culpability in the housing loans cam. But however hard he tries, many folks remain skeptical and suspicious, not the least because Quimbo suffers from a lack of credibility.
Take for instance his pronouncements when he left Pag-Ibig in March 2009. At that time, Quimbo declared before the media: “I filed my terminal leave and resignation [as president of Pag-Ibig] in order to be able to pursue my political plans in Marikina.”
Now that he’s aligned with the Aquino administration, Quimbo claims he was sacked by Arroyo as Pag-Ibig chief, apparently trying to portray himself as a persecuted victim of his former boss.
How’s that for a quick turnaround?
Only in the Philippines.
PH’s pioneer dentist
It was a century ago when a gentleman from San Pablo, Laguna, Gregorio Tiglao Librojo, established his dental practice at the Black Building at the corner of Avenida (Rizal Avenue) and Carriedo in Manila.
Since then, three more generations of Librojos have followed his footsteps.
Among the dentists in the Librojo clan are two of Gregorio’s sons (Rogelio and Jose), grandsons (Rogelio Angelo Jr., Allen and Andre) and great grandsons (Giorgio and Miguel). Another great-grandson, Lorenzo, will hopefully join their ranks soon.
This family of dentists has an interesting ancestry. We were told that their original surname was really “Crisostomo.” Their ancestors—Pedro Crisostomo and his siblings—changed their surname in order to avoid reprisal from Spanish officials after a relative was unmasked as a rebel chieftain.
According to an old family tale, while gathered around a bonfire one fateful night, the Crisostomo clan tossed their “libreta de familia”—the family record book of birth, marriages and death—into the flames to erase all traces of their lineage. As the book burned, it gave a distinct red hue to the flame.
It is this combination of “libro” (or book) and “rojo” (or “red” in Spanish) that became the new surname of the clan—a clan that would later produce one of the country’s pioneer dentist.
Our warmest congratulations to the Librojo Dental Practice on their 100th anniversary this month.

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