TAGUM CITY - Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo on Monday said he was hesitant to support Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos’ senatorial bid, saying the scion of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos wants him to cough up campaign funds.
Marcos and some of her fellow candidates from administration-backed coalition Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) visited this city to campaign. They were hosted by Floirendo, President Rodrigo Duterte’s top campaign donor in the 2016 elections.
Floirendo, whose wealth partly comes from the banana plantation his family owns, also chided Marcos for her family’s supposed hidden wealth.
Asked whether he would support Marcos, Floirendo told reporters: “Sana. Kaso gusto niya akong gumastos eh. Huwag na. Dami-daming hidden wealth niyan.”
(Supposedly yes, but she wants me to shell out money. I decline. They have so many hidden wealth.)
Floirendo said this even though Marcos acknowledged him during her speech at the jampacked Davao del Norte Sports and Tourism Complex.
Floirendo was officially the single biggest donor to the 2016 campaign of Duterte, shelling out P75 million.
Aside from his family’s banana plantation and processing firm, Floirendo's business interests also include the famous Pearl Farm Beach Resort and the Davao International Container Terminal, Inc.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the Tagum sortie, Marcos said her family is willing to cooperate with President Duterte in recovering the supposed hidden wealth, even though she denied its existence.
“Ang sinabi namin sa presidente, kung ano ang maitutulong ng pamilya ko, kami ay tutulong para marecover ang sinasabing
ill-gotten wealth na hindi naman alam dahil ang pagkaalam namin, kinuha ng PCGG (Presidential Commission on Good Government), natago sa iba’t ibang mga tao,” Marcos said.
(What we told the President was, we will give whatever help my family can for the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth which we have no idea about and was supposedly taken by the PCGG and kept by other people.)
“Sa amin naman, napaka-simple lang. Kung ano ang maitutulong namin sa presidente, gagawin namin dahil nainiwala kami sa kanyang administrasyon.”
(This is simple for us. Whatever help we can give the President, we will give because we believe in his administration.)
The PCGG, tasked to recover the Marcoses’ ill-gotten wealth, initially estimated the amount to be between $5 billion to $10 billion with "the bulk of it being deposited and hidden abroad.”
The commission has recovered over P170 billion or around $3.2 billion of the Marcoses' ill-gotten wealth in the past 30 years.
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