By Czarina Nicole Ong
The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division has given Davao Del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo Jr. the green light to travel to Hong Kong from February 2 to 6, 2019 in order to have a much-needed vacation.
In his motion for leave to travel, Floirendo said that his intended travel will be for “personal reasons,” as he wanted “to rest from pressure of his everyday concerns before the campaign period for both the national and election campaign which will start a week after February 6.”
He added that he has already been issued a travel authority by the Speaker of the House on January 17, 2019. Floirendo said that the possibility of him fleeing was “practically nonexistent,” and he has repeatedly returned from all his previous travels to face the judicial process.
To recall, Floirendo was with his family in Hong Kong from December 27, 2018 to January 2, 2019 to celebrate the holidays. He has also travelled to Germany, Singapore, Thailand, United States, Japan, and Turkey since being charged with graft.
Floirendo has been slapped with a violation of Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act due to his involvement in the joint venture agreement between the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and Tagum Agricultural Development Company (TADECO) back in 2003.
Floirendo, who was serving as the Representative of the 2nd District of Davao Del Norte from 2001 to 2004, owned most of TADECO’s shares of stocks. He had 75,000 shares of TADECO, or equivalent to 89 percent of its outstanding capital stock at the time of the 2003 agreement.
This was a violation of Section 3(h) of R.A. 3019, since local officials are prohibited from having financial or pecuniary interest “in any business, contract or transaction in connection with which he intervenes or takes part in his official capacity.”