WHAT WENT BEFORE: Alvarez vs Floirendo | Inquirer News
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WHAT WENT BEFORE: Alvarez vs Floirendo

/ 07:16 AM February 22, 2018

Alvarez and Floirendo in happier political times. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The battle between two of President Rodrigo Duterte’s allies heightened in March last year when Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez filed a graft complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman against Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr.

Alvarez accused Floirendo of violating the antigraft law, which bans public officers from having direct or indirect financial interest in any transactions prohibited by the Constitution.

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Floirendo’s family owns Tagum Agricultural Development Corp. (Tadeco), one of the world’s largest banana producers. He was the top financier of Mr. Duterte in the 2016 elections, contributing P75 million, or a fifth of Mr. Duterte’s P376-million campaign fund.

The complaint highlighted that Floirendo was a congressman serving his 2001-2004 term when Tadeco and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) extended their agreement in 2003 to grow bananas for export on more than 5,300 hectares of land owned by the Davao Prison and Penal Farm.

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The rift between Floirendo and Alvarez is a tale of good friendship gone sour due to politics and womanizing.

Rumors circulated that Floirendo was plotting to oust Alvarez and replace him with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Floirendo’s live-in partner, Cathy Binag also had a public spat with Alvarez’s girlfriend, Jennifer Maliwanag Vicencio, during the Masskara Festival in Bacolod City in October 2016.

Binag said Alvarez’s wife, Emily, and their children, ran to them for help over the Speaker’s womanizing.

In April 2017, Solicitor General Jose Calida declared void the multimillion-peso joint venture agreement between the BuCor and Tadeco.

In September 2017, the Ombudsman ordered the filing of graft charges against Floirendo.

In December 2017, Floirendo was one of 24 members of the House of Representatives who ended up with zero or vastly reduced infrastructure fund allocations after last-minute changes during bicameral discussions on the P3.767-trillion budget that Mr. Duterte signed.

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On Jan. 15, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales denied Floirendo’s appeal in a Sept. 4, 2017 resolution finding probable cause to indict him for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, paving the way for his trial by the Sandiganbayan.

Source: Inquirer Archives

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TAGS: Antonio Floirendo Jr., Pantaleon Alvarez, Rodrigo Duterte, Tadeco-BuCor deal
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