MANILA - Davao Del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo failed to convince the Sandiganbayan to dismiss his graft case in connection with the land lease deal between the Bureau of Corrections and his family’s company, Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO).
In a resolution promulgated August 7, the anti-graft court's sixth division denied the motion to quash filed by Floirendo on the ground that the graft case against him was defective and did not constitute an offense.
The court however sided with the arguments raised by the Office of the Ombudsman that the complaint satisfies the requirements for a sufficient information: that he is a public officer who supposedly has direct or indirect financial interest and intervened in his official capacity in a contract or transaction.
“At this point, there is no need to look into matters beyond the four corners of the information,” the court said in its resolution penned by 6th Division Chairperson Sarah Jane Fernandez, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Karl Miranda and Kevin Narce Vivero.
Floirendo said in his motion to quash that there was no conflict of interest in the deal as his interest in TADECO was a “mere 0.89% of its outstanding capital stock.”
He also argued that there was no additional factual allegation that tend to establish how his stockholding created conflict of interest within the parameters of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
The court however said Floirendo’s arguments are better heard in a full-blown trial.
“The other arguments of the accused are matters of defense which are better threshed out during the trial on the merits,” the court said.