DAVAO del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio "Tonyboy" Floirendo Jr. still trusts the justice system of the country and believes he will end up innocent in the case filed against him by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
He said he believes that President Rodrigo Duterte already knew about the goings on between him and Alvarez.
"I'm sure he knows that pero (but) I dont want him to get involved with our personal problem. Ang presidente marami siyang problema, kami na ang mag-aayos nito (The president has many problems, we will settle this on our own)," Floirendo said.
He adds that there would be no problem with him if one day he and Alvarez will come to terms again.
"Kung maayos ba, wala naman akong away sa kanya (If it can be settled, I don't have an issue with him)," Floirendo said in a press conference at his office in Panabo City.
On February 21, Wednesday, the warrant of arrest against him for graft was released, but he was able to post bail of P30,000.
The case against him was docketed in Criminal Case No. SB-18-CRM-0101 in relation to the Tagum Agricultural Development Company (Tadeco) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) contract.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales filed a case against Floirendo for violating the Constitution stating that government officials who have direct interest are prohibited from being directly involved in government projects.
"We have trust sa (in our) justice system natin, and we are ready to answer questions at the right time and venue. We are transparent," Floirendo said.
Floirendo, together with his colleagues in his district, said that he already knew about the warrant before it was released.
"We see it coming, it came from the Ombudsman, then Sandiganbayan we waited for it. Sabi ko tagal naman, sabi ni Bebot eh Monday maglabas, eh Wednesday na lumabas (I said why it took so long when Bebot (Alvarez) said that it will be out on Monday, but the warrant was released only on Wednesday)," he said.
In the case filed by Alvarez, he revealed that the government loses P106,167,191 annually from Tadeco.
It can be recalled that Tadeco entered into a joint venture agreement that it will lease a parcel of land from BuCor for its banana plantation last July 11, 1969.
It was also revealed that the contract was renewed last May 21, 2003, which indicated that the BuCor will have a portion of the production in the amount of P26,541,801, which will increase 10% every five years.
With this, the Commission on Audit and the Department of Justice recommended the cancellation of the contract.
Floirendo, however, said that Alvarez abused his power.
On the other hand, he said he doesn't want to comment on the issue that Alvarez plans to open up investment in Panabo, in front of the Tadeco.
Hugpong ng Pagbabago
In the meantime, Floirendo extended his support to the Hugpong ng Pagbabago, the party led and founded by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Today, around 500 members will be coming in the city for the launching.
"All my peopple are joining the Hugpong ng Pagbabago. Walang endorsement yan ha . Sila-sila mismo ang sumali ang nagkaisa din silang lahat (It was not endorsed, they voluntarily joined and are united)," he said.
He said that currently there are no members of Congress that are already part of the party since all the HNP members come from the Executive Branch.
Published in the SunStar Davao newspaper on February 23, 2018.
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