Sandiganbayan clears way for Floirendo trial

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Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr.'s ID photos submitted to the police in February.

THE Sandiganbayan has rejected a motion of Davao del Norte congressman Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. to reconsider its earlier ruling denying his first motion to suspend his arraignment for alleged graft and corruption.

In a resolution signed on May 4, the graft court’s Sixth Division rejected Floirendo’s motion for reconsideration of his earlier plea to direct the Office of the Ombudsman to complete the preliminary investigation against him.

In the resolution, the court said Floirendo raised no new argument, merely insisted he was denied due process, and that his plea was prohibited under court rules.

“It is unnecessary to order the Office of the Ombudsman to complete the preliminary investigation, as well as suspend or defer his arraignment,” the resolution said, according to Manila Bulletin.

The charges against Floirendo stemmed from a complaint of Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez that the former violated the anti-graft law for owning a majority share of the Floirendo family’s Tagum Agricultural Development Company when it entered into a joint venture deal with the BuCor for the lease of more than 5,000 hectares of land from the Davao Penal Colony in 2003.

Floirendo was the representative of the 2nd District of Davao del Norte from 2001 to 2004.

Alvarez also claimed that the JVA was highly anomalous because the lease rate was disadvantageous to the government.

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