Ombudsman seeks Floirendo suspension

The Office of the Ombudsman has sought the suspension of Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. in connection with the graft case he is facing in the Sandiganbayan.

In a motion they filed on Wednesday, prosecutors asked that Floirendo be preventively suspended from office, supposedly to prevent him from intimidating witnesses and stop him from committing illegal acts.

The Davao lawmaker is facing charges for his involvement in an allegedly anomalous deal between the government and his family’s banana firm, Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (Tadeco).

The Ombudsman said Floirendo committed graft by owning P7.5 million worth of shares in Tadeco at the time the firm renewed its joint venture agreement with the Bureau of Corrections.

The deal involved the lease of 5,310 hectares of land at the Davao Penal Colony, which was converted into a banana plantation by Tadeco.

The complaint was filed by his bitter rival, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. —MELVIN GASCON

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