The Sandiganbayan 6th Division has turned down the motion of Davao Del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio Floirendo Jr. who sought leave to file a demurrer to evidence which challenges the evidence presented against him during his graft trial.
After carefully reviewing the prosecution’s evidence, the anti-graft court has issued a resolution which “resolves to deny the accused’s motion.”
Though he was denied leave, Floirendo can still file a demurrer to evidence but waives his right to present his defense in the trial.
Floirendo would ask in his demurrer the outright dismissal of the case for the failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt in the trial.
The legislator is facing a graft case which stemmed from the complaint filed by Davao Del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez.
Alvarez accused the lawmaker of having “a direct financial or pecuniary interest” in the deal under a 2003 multi-million peso joint venture agreement (JVA) between the Floirendo family’s Tagum Agricultural Development Corporation (TADECO) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Under the deal, TADECO has been allowed to lease from the BuCor a 5,000-hectare land at the Davao Prison and Penal Farm (DAPECOL) in Davao del Norte as a banana plantation.
Alvarez said the Constitution prohibits a lawmaker to be involved in any government contracts before any agency for his pecuniary benefit during his term of office.
He pointed out that when the 2003 JVA was reached Floirendo was still representative of the 2nd District of Davao del Norte.