Floirendo confident legal process will favor him in graft case
While expressing disbelief over the speed of his indictment graft by the Office of the Ombudsman, Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floreindo Jr. on Wednesday said he was hopeful that the body would reverse its initial decision and rule in his favor.
In a resolution dated September 4, the Office of the Ombudsman, acting on a complaint filed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, ruled that there was “sufficient evidence showing the respondent probably committing a violation of Section 3(h) of RA 3019,” which is the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
The Ombudsman said Floirendo committed graft, considering that he owned P7.5 million worth of shares in Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (Tadeco) at the time the banana firm renewed its joint venture agreement with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) in the lease of 5,308.36 hectares of land at the Davao Penal Colony, which Tadeco converted into a banana plantation.
In a statement, Floirendo said he was ready to prove his innocence, adding that the law “does not penalize mere stockholding in a private corporation that has an existing contract with the government.”
“There must be a showing of a conflict of interest, i.e., a showing that the private interest of a public official or employee conflicts or tends to conflict with the performance of his official duties,” he explained.
Floirendo stressed that he had not violated any law. So he was confident that the legal process would see this.
“I respect the processes of the courts and will abide by what is proper and appropriate in the instance,” he said. “I have not violated any law nor have I used my public office for personal gains. Given the circumstances on hand, I am optimistic the complaint will be resolved in my favor.”
In a response dated May 10, 2017, Floirendo argued that the complaint was without basis because he “did not have any direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interested in the 2003 [Bureau of Corrections and Tagum Agricultural Development Company accord] that would fall within the ambit of the prohibition under Art. VI, Sec. 14 of the Constitution, or any other law.”
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