former Vice President Noli de Castro

MANILA — Vice President Jejomar C. Binay said last September 1 that former Vice President Noli de Castro could still be charged in connection with the Globe Asiatique (GA) loan scandal.

Binay asked the Department of Justice (DoJ) to immediately file in court a case against GA executives led by its president Delfin Lee, after it was clarified that the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by a Pasig judge last August 26 covered a different case filed against Globe Asiatique, the property developer.

In a press briefing at the Coconut Palace, Vice President Binay said while the investigation into the GA scandal did not uncover any direct evidence against De Castro to warrant his inclusion as respondent in the estafa case, it does not mean that the former vice president has been cleared.

“Ang sabi ko ang ebidensya namin ay doon lang sa inihabla namin. Mahirap mag-speculate ng kaso. Pero hindi pa naman tapos ang imbestigasyon (What I said is that the evidence we have for now is only good to pin down the personalities we have already charged. But then, we have yet to finish the investigation though). There’s an ongoing investigation,” he said.

Binay appealed to people who have direct evidence in connection with the scandal to come out in the open.
“Nag-aapila kami sa mga may nalalaman sa mga ilegal na transaksyong ito. Please come forward and help us gather direct evidence (We appeal to those who know about this illegal transaction to come out in the open),” the Vice President said.

Binay said former and incumbent Pag-IBIG officials are subject to investigation by the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman initiated a fact-finding investigation into the GA scandal during the latter part of 2010, but it has yet to release its findings.

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The DoJ is also planning to file an administrative complaint against Pasig City regional trial Court (RTC) Judge Rolando Mislang of Branch 167 who hastily issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the filing of the P6.65-billion syndicated estafa charges against Lee and four others.

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima raised suspicion over Mislang’s decision to issue a 20-day TRO that prevented public prosecutors from filing the syndicated estafa that constituted economic sabotage by the property developers in connection with supposedly anomalous Xevera housing project in Mabalacat, Pampanga.

“The Office of the Solicitor General is contemplating on the filing of an administrative complaint with the Supreme Court for abuse of authority and misconduct. We don’t know what was the basis of the judge for issuing the TRO when in fact the case has not yet been released. Hence there was nothing to argue about in connection with the TRO petition,” De Lima said. (Manila Bulletin)