Supreme Court Enjoins the Implementation of CA's Decision and Resolution in the Sagun/Globe Asiatique Case

22 April 2013

On 17 April 2013, the First Division of the Supreme Court enjoined the implementation of the Decision and Resolution of the Special Tenth Division of the Court of Appeals on the Petition filed by Christina Sagun (Sagun). It may be recalled that Sagun was one of the respondents indicted for the crime of syndicated estafa constituting economic sabotage, penalized under Article 315(2) (a) of the Revised Penal Code, in relation to Presidential Decree No. 1689. Allegedly, Sagun and her co-accused conspired with one another in employing a scheme, involving soliciting and paying off "special buyers" and/or creating "ghost borrowers", to the damage and prejudice of the Home Development Fund, in the amount of approximately Php 6.65 billion.

Sagun assailed the Review Resolution issued by the DOJ Task Force on Business Scam directly before the Court of Appeals (CA). On 5 October 2012, the CA granted the Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition, nullifying and setting aside the Resolution which found probable cause to implicate Sagun in the Globe Asiatique case. The CA, in its 11 February 2013 Resolution, also denied the DOJ's Motion for Reconsideration. In the same Resolution, the CA quashed the Information filed before the RTC and recalled the arrest warrant issued against Sagun.

Alleging grave abuse of discretion, the DOJ, represented by Secretary Leila M. De Lima, Prosecutor General Claro A. Arellano, and Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Theodore M. Villanueva, and the National Bureau of  Investigation, acting through the Office of the Solicitor General, elevated to the Supreme Court the Decision and Resolution of the CA via Petition for Review on Certiorari (With Very Urgent Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction).

"With the issuance of the Temporary Restraining Order, there exists no legal impediment for Branch 42 of Regional Trial Court of San Fernando, Pampanga, to proceed with the trial of the case for syndicated estafa filed against Delfin S. Lee, Dexter Lee, Christina Sagun, Salagan, and Atty. Alex Alvarez. Also, the manhunt for Delfin Lee and his co-accused, who remain at-large, must continue" said Secretary De Lima.

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