THE Davao City police briefly took custody of Davao del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio D. Floirendo Jr. on Wednesday when he turned himself in before posting bail in connection with the arrest order issued by the Sandiganbayan over graft charges.
Senior Police Officer 2 Gideon S. Tambis of the Matina, Davao City police station reported that Floirendo voluntarily surrendered to him and was subsequently referred to the Davao City Regional Trial Court executive judge when he sought to post bail.
“The undersigned peace 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 a peace officer and intimated that he intends to post a cash bond,” the report said.
Tambis said he endorsed Floirendo to the RTC executive judge “for appropriate action.”
Davao City RTC Executive Judge Emmanuel Carpio received Floirendo at past 4 p.m. and issued an order to police to not enforce the arrest warrant against the lawmaker after he posted a P30,000 bail bond.
The Sandiganbayan Sixth Division issued the arrest warrant against Floirendo Wednesday morning. The warrant, dated Feb. 19, also barred Floirendo from leaving the country without the court’s permission.
The arrest warrant and the hold-departure order came after the court issued a resolution finding probable cause to put Floirendo on trial for a case of violation of Section 3 (h) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Among others, the anti-graft 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 arrest warrant stemmed from the criminal complaint filed by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who accused Floirendo of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
In its September 4, 2017, resolution, the Ombudsman found merit in the allegation of Alvarez that Floirendo remained a board member of Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (Tadeco) despite his election as a congressman.
According to the Ombudsman, its investigation revealed that when the joint venture agreement between Tadeco and the Bureau of Corrections was renewed in 2003, Floirendo was already elected as a lawmaker with 75,000 shares of stock of the company in his name.
The Ombudsman said Floirendo’s failure to divest all his interests in Tadeco was in violation of Article VI, Section 14 of the 1987 Constitution, which prohibits members of the Senate and the House of Representatives from having a direct or indirect financial interest in any contract with the government.