Alvarez’ rival Floirendo ousted from CA
Davao Del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. on Monday was ousted from the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) following his absent vote in the administration pet bill restoring the death penalty.
Deputy majority leader Pampanga Rep. Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc announced Floirendo’s ouster as a member of the commission, tasked under the Constitution to confirm the appointment of nominees in government.
The CA as a constitutional body is composed of members of Congress and serves as a check and balance against possible abuse of the President’s appointing power.
Floirendo will be replaced as the administration party’s representative to the CA by majority leader Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano III, who jumped to the current ruling party from the Nacionalista Party.
Meanwhile, Zamboanga Del Norte Rep. Seth Frederick Jalosjos would replace Albano as Nacionalista representative to the CA.
Floirendo’s ouster from the CA only meant that Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez stayed true to his word to strip of committee positions the lawmakers who voted against or absent to vote on the bill restoring capital punishment on drug-related offenses.
One of those ousted was former president now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, who was stripped of her deputy speaker post following her no vote to the death penalty bill. It was during Arroyo’s administration that the death penalty was abolished.
Floirendo was ousted from the CA by the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), where Alvarez is secretary-general. Floirendo represents the PDP-Laban in the CA.
Floirendo and Alvarez used to be allies but they broke their alliance following a tiff between the two congressmen’s girlfriends.
Alvarez even filed a graft complaint before the Ombudsman against Floirendo for the allegedly disadvantageous contract and conflict of interest of his banana firm Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (Tadeco).
The Commission on Audit and a Department of Justice fact-finding committee have reported that the land lease deal between Tadeco and the Bureau of Corrections to use 5,308.36 hectares of land in the Davao Penal Colony for a banana plantation is disadvantageous and unconstitutional.
Alvarez alleged Floirendo has a personal interest in the contract which was entered into in 2003 when the latter was already congressman. The Constitution bars members of Congress from entering into contracts with government.
Alvarez filed the graft complaint after his girlfriend Jennifer Vicencio had a spat with Floirendo’s longtime partner Cathy Binag. Admitting his affair, Alvarez denied filing the complaint out of a personal vendetta.
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