Rep. Antonio Floirendo of Davao del Norte, who is facing graft charges over the 2003 lease deal entered into by the Floirendo-owned Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (Tadeco) with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), surrendered on Friday and immediately posted bail to regain his temporary freedom.
A statement emailed to reporters by a certain Gory Aquino said Floirendo was taken into custody by the Davao City police on February 21. He then posted bail of P30,000.
“Davao City RTC Executive Judge Emmanuel Carpio received Floirendo at past 4 p.m. [on February 19]and issued an order to police to not enforce the arrest warrant against the lawmaker after he posted a P30,000 bail bond,” the statement read.
The statement also disclosed that Floirendo voluntarily surrendered to Senior Police Officer 2 Gideon Tambis of the Matina, Davao City Police Station.
“The undersigned police officer respectfully returned the warrant of arrest of one Antonio Del Rosario Floirendo, Jr. with information that the said person voluntarily surrendered to me as peace officer and intimated that he intends to post cash bond,” Tambis said.
Aquino also sent mug shots of Floirendo.
Floirendo was charged by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. He was found to have retained his financial interest in Tadeco, owning shares worth P7.5 million, even if he was already a member of Congress.
The anti-graft law prohibits government officials from “directly or indirectly having financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction.”
Article 6, Section 14 of the 1987 Constitution also prohibits members of the Senate and the House of Representatives from having a direct or indirect financial interest in any contract with the government.
Floirendo was the top donor of then presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, pouring in P75 million for the latter’s campaign kitty. His donation is P4 million more than Duterte’s second highest donor and running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano.
Floirendo’s graft charges, however, stemmed from the graft complaint filed by another Duterte ally, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez of Davao del Norte.
The Commission on Audit already released a memo recommending the junking of the BuCor-Tadeco deal in May 2017 for violating the 1987 Constitution which states that “alienable lands of the public domain shall be limited to agricultural lands…and private corporations or associations may not hold such alienable lands of the public domain except by lease, for a period not exceeding twenty-five years, renewable for not more than twenty-five years, and not to exceed one thousand hectares in area.”
The same COA team also found out that the BuCor’s deal with Tadeco inked on December 26, 1969 was also in violation of Section 2, Article 12 of the 1935 Constitution because Tadeco was allowed to use 3,000 hectares of the Davao Prison and Penal Farm lands even if the 1935 Charter states that “no private corporation or association may acquire, lease, or hold public agricultural lands in excess of 1,024 hectares.”
Floirendo is married to 1973 Miss Universe Margie Moran.