DOJ forms panel to probe BuCor deal with Floirendo firm
The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday created a panel that would investigate the supposedly questionable deal between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco) owned by Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr.
The development stemmed from a letter from Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez asking the DOJ to scrap the allegedly anomalous agreement for the lease of 5,300 hectares of land of the Davao Penal Colony to Tadeco’s banana plantation, which Alvarez called as “grossly disadvantageous to the government” and “contrary to law and public policy.”
In department order No. 225, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II designated officials who will constitute the panel, with Chief State Counsel Ricardo V. Paras III as chairman and Dir. Maria Charina V. Buena-Dy Po as vice chairman.
“In the interest of the service and pursuant to the provisions of existing laws, the following are hereby designated to constitute a panel to conduct an investigation relative to the Joint Venture Agreement between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Tagum Agricultural Development Company Inc. (Tadeco), which was allegedly entered into without legal basis and authority and that the terms of conditions of which are grossly disadvantageous to the government,” Aguirre wrote.
“This order shall take effect immediately and shall be in force until the termination of the investigation,” he added.
Other members of the panel include State Counsel Melvin C. Suarez (Legal Staff), State Counsel Noel Adriatico (Technical Staff), Atty. Catherine Angela Maralit (Technical Staff).
The contract between the BuCor and Tadeco was originally signed in 1969. When the deal was extended for another 25 years in 2003, Alvarez said Floirendo was then serving his second term as Davao del Norte Representative and that there was no evidence that the latter divested his ownership of shares of stocks in Tadeco.
Alvarez, who also filed a graft complaint against Floirendo before the Ombudsman for allegedly having “unlawful business interest,” also filed a House bill calling for an inquiry on whether BuCor is getting its fair share of profits from Tadeco. JE/rga
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.