Floirendo gets 8 years for graft
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - August 27, 2020 - 12:00am

DAVAO DEL NORTE, Philippines — Former Davao del Norte second district representative Antonio Floirendo Jr. has been sentenced to up to eight years in prison for holding unlawful financial interests in a banana plantation doing business with the government.

In a virtual promulgation held yesterday, the Sandiganbayan’s Sixth Division found Floirendo guilty of violating Section 3 (h) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The law prohibits government officials from “directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction in which he is prohibited by the Constitution or by any law from having any interest.”

The court also ordered Floirendo’s perpetual disqualification from holding public office.

Filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in February 2018, the case stemmed from Floirendo’s alleged financial interests with Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (Tadeco), a banana plantation company doing business with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Davao del Norte first district Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez filed the complaint in 2017, saying Floirendo continues to be a board member of Tadeco despite his election as congressman.

The ombudsman said Tadeco entered into a joint venture agreement (JVA) with BuCor in 1969 which allowed the firm to lease 3,000 hectares of land in the Davao Penal Colony for a banana plantation.

The ombudsman said Floirendo was an incumbent congressman when the JVA was renewed in 2003. He still owned 75,000 shares of stock of the company worth P7.5 million and was elected vice chairman in 2008 even though he was no longer a board member, it added.

The sixth division agreed with the ombudsman that Floirendo’s failure to divest his shares in Tadeco violated Section 3 (h) of RA 3019.

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