The Sandiganbayan has denied the plea of Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. to reconsider its ruling dismissing his motion to junk the graft case against him over his alleged financial interest in a private firm that signed an agreement with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in 2003.
The anti-graft court, in its resolution dated Sept. 11, dismissed Floirendo’s motion for reconsideration (MR) for “lack of merit.”
The Sandiganbayan cited that the first mode, by which a public officer may commit graft is when he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity in connection with his financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction.
The second mode, the court said, is when he is prohibited from having such an interest by the Constitution or by law.
The Sandiganbayan said Floirendo may be charged under either only of the first or the second mode, or both.
“The other arguments of the accused are a mere reiteration or rehash of those in his motion to quash information. These had already been considered and found to be without merit in the assailed resolution. Hence, it is unnecessary to discuss them anew,” the anti-court ruled.
The Sandiganbayan found that the facts charged in the case information sufficiently alleged the essential elements of the second mode to violate Section 3(h) of the Anti-Graft and Practices Act.
“The other arguments of the accused are matters of defense, which are better threshed out during the trial on the merits,” the anti-graft court said.
The Office of the Ombudsman earlier charged Floirendo with graft for his alleged financial interest in the May 21, 2003 joint venture agreement between the BuCor and Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO). He then owned 75,000 shares of stocks worth P75 million in TADECO.
The majority stocks of which, were in turn, owned by Floirendo’s family through Anflo Management and Development Corp.
In his MR, Floirendo asked the Sandiganbayan to reconsider and set aside its Aug. 7, 2018 ruling, junk the allegations and dismiss the graft case.
He argued there is no allegation that he used his official position to influence the execution or negotiation of a contract involving the government or the grant of a franchise or privilege, and he used his official position to obtain some pecuniary advantage.
However, the anti-graft court maintained that “this contention is untenable.” (PNA)