Tony Boy blames Alvarez for arrest warrant on case

DAVAO del Norte Rep. Antonio R. Floirendo Jr. has blamed Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for the warrant of arrest that the Sandiganbayan issued against him yesterday.  

In a press statement released yesterday, Floirendo said: “The hasty filing of graft charges against me before the Sandiganbayan and the subsequent issuance of the warrant of arrest in connection with the Bucor-Tadeco deal is a clear sign of the existence of abuse of power and arrogance on the part of the Speaker (Alvarez).”

Although he said he welcomed the “hastily-filed complaint,” Floirendo pointed out that “this transgression on the part of the Speaker is not only political but a veiled attempt at grabbing the deal for his business and personal interest.”

He added he hopes for Alvarez to “insulate the courts from his established brand of maneuvering and undue influence.”

“Despite such setback, I maintain my faith in our justice system because I have not done anything wrong. In the end, I am confident that I will prevail because the truth is on my side,” he added.

Floirendo, who posted a P30,000 bail for the graft case, maintained that the case against him has no basis because the dealing of his family’s company, the Tagum Agricultural Development Co., and the Bureau of Corrections, “which benefits thousands of inmates and their families and has provided livelihood to thousands of residents and workers, is valid and legal.”

Earlier the company said that all previous investigations conducted both by the executive department and the legislative branch of government resulted in the upholding of the agreement over the 5,300-hectare reservation that has become a banana plantation in Davao del Norte.

In his press statement, Alvarez called on Floirendo to face the case, saying there was nothing political on his part as a result of the case.

“The arrest order issued by the Sandiganbayan is part of due process. He (Floirendo) now has every opportunity to answer the charges against him,” said Alvarez, adding that it is the judicial process “taking its course and allowing him to answer the graft charge and clear his name in the proper forum.

The arrest warrant stemmed from the graft case that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed against Floirendo for violating the ban on government officials from having direct interest in government projects.

In his complaint, Alvarez claimed that the government lost in the deal between Tadeco, which was founded by Floirendo’s namesake father, and Bureau of Corrections.

The agreement, which converted the reservation of the government entity into a banana plantation in 1969 has been renewed. The company earlier maintained that the government, including about 3,500 inmates working in the farm, has been benefiting from the deal as its share has increased by at least 10% every five years.

The Department of Justice filed the case against Floirendo, even as the company claimed he was not a participant in the negotiations between the company and Bucor as he relinquished his company position when he was elected to the government particularly in 2003 when he won as representative of the district to the House of Representatives.

Posted in under_HEADLINES1