Alvarez eyes plunder raps vs Floirendo

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 27 2017 12:05 AM

Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. Composite

MANILA- House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez is mulling on filing plunder charges against his former friend, Davao del Norte 2nd District Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr., over the latter's family-owned company.

Alvarez had called for a congressional investigation on Floirendo's Tagum Agricultural Development Company, Inc. (TADECO) and its joint venture agreement with the Bureau of Corrections to turn a large portion of the Davao Penal Colony into a plantation.

In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News, Alvarez said he is waiting for the final findings and recommendation of the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to see if a plunder complaint can be filed.

"Titingnan natin kung yung elements ng plunder ay papasok dito dahil pag ito ay pumasok, kailangan po talaga mag-file din tayo ng kaso for plunder. That is a separate case," he said.

The House Speaker, however, said he may file the case as a private individual. 

"Pwede rin ako mag-file noon kasi as a taxpayer, tayo ay mayroong karapatan para pangalagaan na yung pera, properties ng gobyerno ay di po ninanakaw ng ibang tao," Alvarez said.

The Speaker also noted that he is not concerned as to how this may affect the administration majority, given that Floirendo is a top campaign contributor of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The two used to have close ties until they got into a spat over the TADECO case which Floirendo previously hinted is due to a spat between their girlfriends.

"Hindi ako concerned diyan... Paulit-ulit sinasabi ni Presidente na pag meron kang ginawa na atraso sa bayan ay kailangan mo panagutan--mapakasama kita, kaalyado kita o hindi," he said.

Recently, the Office of the Ombudsman indicted Floirendo for graft for having financial interest in the 2003 contract between TADECO and the Bureau of Corrections while he was sitting as a district representative.

The case stemmed from the agreements entered into between the Bureau of Corrections and TADECO allowing the company to use land located within the Davao Penal Colony.

Neither Floirendo or any representative of TADECO has responded to requests for comment on the Ombudsman's decision.