THE Tagum Agricultural Development Co. (Tadeco) owned by the family of Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio “Tonyboy” Floirendo yesterday took exception to claims that it was behind the suggestion that the House leadership allegedly coerced three government agencies to declare illegal the joint venture agreement (JVA) between Tadeco and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
“While we maintain the deal with BuCor is a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) and the contract legally negotiated, we take care not to muddle the issues as we only want to present arguments that are accurate, rational, and valid,” said Alex Valoria, president and chief executive officer of Tadeco.
The three offices referred to are the Commission on Audit (CoA), the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).
But Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez maintained that Tadeco allegedly hinted that the separate detrimental findings of government agencies against its land lease agreement with the BuCor had been allegedly coerced.
“Who are they trying to fool?” asked Alvarez, referring to “Tadeco’s wild imaginings and revisionist take on the deal that had allowed them to deprive government of billions of pesos in lease payment and share from the sale of bananas pocketed by Tadeco instead of going to the national coffers.”
In response, Tadeco said “we base our arguments on the approvals of the government authorities at the time the JVA was executed and the applicable laws and jurisprudence of the Philippines. This is a consensual arrangement, which has stood the test of time. We involve ourselves only in honest business dealings, not in bogus claims.”
Moreover, Valoria clarified, it is not the mission of our organization that is recognized for its best practices to muddle in propaganda issues because “it is contrary to our corporate values to malign and mislead, or argue issues without legal basis.”
Alvarez urged officials of Tadeco to just address directly the legal questions “instead of muddying the issue” after the DoJ, CoA and SolGen slammed the Tadeco-Bucor land-lease deal.
“Ang hirap sa Tadeco, sila lang ang nagsasabi na walang problema ang kontrata nila while all concerned government agencies are one in saying that their contract is violative of the Constitution hence illegal,” Alvarez stressed.
During the joint hearing last week of the House committees on good government and public accountability and on justice on the BuCor-Tadeco deal, Valoria stressed that the JVA between BuCor and Tadeco is not only valid and legal, but is also highly beneficial to the government and to some 30,000 direct and indirect workers in the banana industry and other related sectors.