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Sandigan rebuffs Biazon

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Nation
  • Read: 326

THE Sandiganbayan will arraign Muntinlupa City Rep. Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon on September 6 over the graft case filed against him.

The graft court’s Seventh Division denied for lack of merit Biazon’s motion to junk the graft charges.

Biazon is facing charges of graft, malversation and direct bribery in connection with the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel during his term in Congress in 2007.

Based on the information of the cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman last April, Biazon allocated P3 million of his PDAF to the Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI), a bogus non-government organization linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

Investigation showed that Biazon allegedly earned some P1.950 million in kickbacks.
    
In his motion for reconsideration, the solon maintained that the charges against him are baseless as he is “not an accountable officer.”
    
Biazon further stressed that under a special provision on the use of PDAF in the 2007 General Appropriations Act (GAA), “the fund should be released to the implementing agency and not to the legislator.”
    
The Sandiganbayan, however, dismissed Biazon’s argument.
    
“Assuming that, as accused Biazon argues it is the implementing agency (Technology Resource Center or TRC in the present case) that has the responsibility to keep custody of and account for his PDAF allocation, the finding of probable cause against him will still stand. That is because the Information alleges conspiracy between accused Biazon, the accused TRC officials, and his other co-accused in the instant case,” the resolution said.
    
Moreover, the anti-graft court said that a public official who is not an accountable public officer may still be held liable for malversation if he or she conspires with an accountable public officer to commit malversation.
 
The Sandiganbayan also rejected similar motions filed by his co-accused in the case former Bohol governor Rene Relampagos, Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule, and Marilou Bare.