Tadeco assails SocGen

EMBATTLED Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (Tadeco) has branded as premature and uninformed the statement of Solicitor General Jose Calida that its joint venture agreement with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) is illegal.

In a statement released Friday, Tadeco admitted that there is an on-going review of the agreement and there is a pending resolution before the House of Representatives to investigate the agreement. “However, the review of the Department of Justice is still on-going and the House probe has not yet begun.  Furthermore, there is no case filed before the courts on the cancellation of the said JVA.  Only the courts of law can declare that a contract is void,” the company said.

It added that the statement of Calida “is a clear case of prejudging” its agreement with the government agency.

“Where is the fairness?  Perhaps the intent is to condition the minds of the public and pre-empt the review of Department of Justice as well as the House probe,” it added.

The company said its agreement with the government agency “has withstood the test of time and multiple reviews by secretaries of Justice and several congressional investigations over so many years” but all of them have concluded that the agreement is beneficial to the government agency and to the country.

“These are the same items raised by Speaker (Pantaleon) Alvarez and, thus, there is nothing new in this recent statement of the Solicitor General.

It said the company is prepared to face “all these issues in the proper time and proper forum. “

Calida has sided with Alvarez over the claim of the latter that the agreement between the company and the government violated laws.

In a statement released Tuesday, Calida said the agreement “is void as it goes against the Constitution and the Public Land Act,” pointing out that under the law companies can only lease public lands for 50 years and that based on record, the initial agreement, which covers about 5,300 hectares of the Davao Prison and Penal Farm, was made in 1969 and has been extended twice.

Because of this, it added, the agreement must not go beyond 2019.

The company, in several press statements, maintained that its agreement with the government has been aboveboard and that it has even adjusted several times the benefits provided to the government.

It also maintained that its agreement with the government is not a lease arrangement but a joint venture “primarily aimed at the rehabilitation of the inmates in Davao Penal Colony.”

The controversy started reportedly due to differences between the partners of Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo, whose family owns the company, and that of Alvarez’s. The company, through Floirendo’s younger brother Vicente, earlier issued a statement distancing it from the partner of his older brother.

Posted in Latest News