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Why kill the golden goose?


By J. Albert Gamboa


A battle royale has reached the halls of Congress, the main protagonists of which are Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, his fellow Davao del Norte Representative Antonio Floirendo Jr., and Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

These erstwhile allies are at loggerheads over the joint venture agreement (JVA) between the DOJ’s Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the Floirendo-owned Tagum Agricultural Development Co. Inc. (Tadeco).

It may be recalled that Alvarez accused Floirendo of graft before the Office of the Ombudsman in March, and subsequently filed House Resolution No. 867 calling for the investigation of the Tadeco-BuCor JVA on allegations of being disadvantageous to the government and contrary to law. This came after the two Davao congressmen figured in a personal quarrel involving their paramours.

At a Lower House hearing conducted by the committee on good government and public accountability jointly with the committee on justice last Tuesday, the DOJ chief admitted that the Speaker asked him to declare the JVA illegal, although he said it was not within his powers to issue such a declaration and believes only President Rodrigo Duterte could cancel the contract.

The showdown of former best friends, both avid Duterte supporters, was averted when Floirendo inhibited himself from attending the hearing “to obviate any perception of personal interference or influence on the outcome.”

Instead, he was represented by Tadeco President Alex Valoria, who said the findings by a DOJ panel against the JVA were based on flawed interpretations of the Constitution as well as laws governing contracts and the disposition of public lands.

Valoria traced back Tadeco’s first joint venture with the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol) to 1956 for the production of abaca hemp on a 60/40 basis. But the challenge posed by the emergence of nylon rope prompted Tadeco owner Antonio Floirendo Sr. to shift to banana production for export.

He forged a JVA with the Bureau of Prisons (now BuCor) in 1969 that primarily aimed to rehabilitate Dapecol inmates while serving their sentences and prepare them for reintegration to society by providing a decent means of livelihood at the banana plantation developed by Tadeco within the penal reservation.

In 1970, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee reviewed the JVA and found it valid and above board. According to Valoria, “notable were the comments of Senator Benigno ‘Ninoy’ Aquino Jr. with regard to his confirmation that the rates at that time benefiting the BuCor were extremely good and beyond competitive.”

Various Tadeco-BuCor contracts passed through 14 Justice Secretaries who upheld their validity. These DOJ chiefs served under the administrations of Presidents Ferdinand Marcos, Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Arroyo, and Benigno Aquino III.

Aguirre acknowledged that Tadeco employed thousands of workers and paid hundreds of millions of pesos in taxes to the government, with the positive impact extending beyond its 30,000 direct and indirect employees because of the multiplier effect on thousands of families benefiting from its operations.

However, Alvarez said the current JVA that took effect in 2004 is prejudicial to the government and deemed it an illegal lease contract with a questionable length of 25 years ending in 2029. He also alleged that Tadeco’s workers are maltreated and exploited.

On the other hand, Valoria reiterated that the contract is not a lease agreement but a joint venture. He insisted that the JVA is legal and its 25-year term is allowed under the 1987 Constitution, claiming that Tadeco is one of the best employers in the agricultural sector as evidenced by multiple awards from government agencies and global certifications for good agriculture practices.

More significantly, he pointed out that from 2004 to 2016, the financial benefits paid by Tadeco to BuCor amounted to R1.6 billion, while the benefits to thousands of ex-inmates and their respective communities are immeasurable due to the success of the rehabilitation program.

So why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs, all because of a war between inamoratas?


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  • kalealaskador

    People like Albert Gamboa should seat in our Congress either in the Lower or Upper House. He can understand the situation better than those imbeciles who think they are God’s gift, not only to women, but to the Filipino people!

  • Why not convert it to cooperative, making all workers and management staff running the cooperative as members. The know how are all in-place, as long politician does not get involved in the operation and management, audit be done by big refutable foreign company.

  • ADA

    TADECO is our life and we live in paradise.

  • Lola Josefa

    The contract is very clear JOINT-VENTURE Agreement. Hindi ba yan klaro? Just because of their ignorance, more than 30,000 peoples job are at stake. House Speaker himself revealed to the public that he is not really a good leader. My God, Namemersonal na, Bully pa. Tapos napakadali nyang sabihin to declare the contract null and void, matapos kang makinabang Speaker..ganun na ganun lang? Sino ngayon ang manloloko?

  • Lola Josefa

    House Speaker should be ousted.

  • Raagen Ravanor

    Itcs a joint venture agreement to rehabilitate inmates not a business joint venture agreement where an entity is created. The Bureauof Correction is not in the business of leasing lands for profit but isin the business of restoring the faith and goodness ofthe national inmates. Closing an eye to this reality proves that this drama initiated by the speaker of the house is just for personal fame and not for protecting the government. Speaker, gusto mo lang buwagin amg mapayapang pamumuhay ng mga tagaTadeco. Wag na tayong maglokohan dito, magagalit ang mga tao sa Pilipinas, niloloko mo. Remember Mr. Speaker, you are a public servant.

  • Goblins Bride

    House speaker, andito kami oh, sambayanang Pilipino, wag na tayong maglokohan..
    I think you have to study further pa, with Mr. Aguirre.

    You are not a role model po. Umalis kana jan.

  • Banana Split

    The positive impact of employing thousands of workers in TADECO extends beyond its direct employees because thousands of families and outside communities benefit as well. So, stop killing the goose that lays golden eggs dahil maraming buhay ang maapektuhan at masisira. Life is here in TADECO! This is our home, our future!

  • Banana Split

    As long as TADECO exists, then it can be a shield against the poverty that calls the names of many and the hunger that grabs us by the neck. We will fight for TADECO, we will stand as one!

  • Paige Taylor

    Being a Batang TADECO and an employee now, I share the sentiment of our CEO, the malicious allegation that we, employees are maltreated is the most hurtful. And I say, a total LIE. It hurts me personally and deeply. Why? Because the reality is we live peacefully and happily here in TADECO. All my life I haven’t seen a community like what we have here in TADECO. Every knows everybody. We cry and rejoice together as one. Just the same we fight together as one.

  • Paige Taylor

    watching the hearing, I was of mixed emotion listening to the Secretary. He has no grasp over what the JVA is. It’s hard for me to say that he just read the notes of the Task Force because even that I also doubt. Only if you come here in Davao Sir Secretary, ask the inmates, their families, their children, from there you will know that the allegations that the agreement is disadvantageous to the government is but a creation of a selfish, malicious mind.

    Have you ever heard of inmates’ stories from Dapecol? If none, visit dapecol. talk to our inmate-trainees, hear from them their stories and you would know… the JVA between BUCOR and TADECO is their only hope… the writer Mr. Gamboa is right for the inmates and for us employees, it is the goose that lays a golden egg. So please, be JUST and give justice to thousands of workers here

  • Bananero

    It is very clear that this issues were brought up to Congress because of the personal interest of Mr. Alvarez. Even if how many facts will be laid to him, the fact that it is personal, he will do everything, even use his power to destroy and hurt the people of Tadeco because he knows that it will hurt Cong. Floirendo.

    • Bananero

      But we will not let the golden goose be killed! We are the living proofs of that golden eggs that the goose lays and we will continue to take good care of the goose so that it will lay more golden eggs in the future.

  • Dearest

    It’s a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) that responds to the mandate of Bureau of Corrections to rehabilitate inmates, and to provide them source of income for their daily needs and to augment the Bureau’s yearly appropriations. Through the years, JVA became instrumental in accomplishing Bureau’s thrust for restorative reformation. On the other hand, JVA is not a LEASE AGREEMENT but a JOINT VENTURE. WE will fight for TADECO-BUCOR JVA, we will stand as one family!

  • Joshua Zaragoza

    Pinipilit lang ni Alvarez na mapabagsak ang TADECO, gusto nyang mawala Ito para makaganti sa dati nyang kaibigang si Floirendo.
    Na kahit andaming tao na madadamay . Wala syang pakielam. Galit sya sa lahat ng nasa panig ni floirendo. Wala Kang konsensya Alvarez at Wala ka ring kwentang kaibigan. Kawawa naman mga kaibigan mo ngayon, oh Baka naman malaki binabayad mo sa Kanila Kaya mo Sila kaibigan.haha

  • Jean

    Napakasakit po na ang mga taong dapat sana ay poprotekta sa sambayanan ay siya mismong sisira sa amin. Ginagamit nila ang kanilang kapangyarihan sa kanilang personal na interes. Watching the hearing, you will know that they were driven by their ulterior motives. The house speaker is a bully. Masaya na po kayo doon sir? You are a public servant and you are supposed to protect us, the people. Ganun na lang po ba? Akala ko magiging mas maganda ang buhay namin ngayon pero dahil sa mga taong makasarili, masisira pala ang buhay namin. But we will not let this happen. Sana po nakakatulog pa kayo nang mahimbing sa ginagawa ninyo.

  • Alvic_Speaks

    To Albert Gamboa, there is no goose laying golden eggs here. We only have an abusive, sweet talking, ‘lame’ duck who is an incumbent at House of Representatives. Imagine, this guy was able to avoid paying actual market rates for rental of penal colony to produce export quality bananas. In your article, you didn’t even give the exact amount of taxes paid, you just mention millions of pesos was paid. Of course it will reach that amount and even more considering how many thousand of hectares of land was utilised to for banana plantation. Now, the long arm of the law has overtaken him and he will be dealt harshly (as promised by DoJ and PDU30). I am a tickler for healthy food, but I would like to taste foie-gras prepared out of the liver from this abusive ‘lame duck’…

    • Blue Souled

      “There is no goose laying golden eggs here”… Sure ka na “here”. Bakit taga rito ka ba alvic whatever? Wow ha. Kasi kung totoong taga rito ka, hindi ka mag-iimbento ng kung anu-anong mga kwentong kabalbalan. Kasi alam mo sana ang katotohanan… Parang ang source mo sa mga sinulat mo ay iisang libro lang, tapos pocketbook pa. Puro gawang isip. Magsulat ka na lang kaya sa tabloid baka kumita ka pa… FYI, masaya kaming mga empleyado at mamamayan ng tadeco… Kung gusto mong sirain yun, ikaw bahala. Diba, lahat naman kayang gawin ng mga kriminal basta magkapera lang, kahit marami pang madamay. Makasarili kasi kayo ng amo mong si alvarez…

      • Alvic_Speaks

        Pocket book pocket book ka pang nalalaman. How much did Floreindo pay all of you mga attack dogs dito sa Forum na to? And pinagtutulungan nyo pa ako. You accuse me of fake facts, why can’t you defend the fact that your Boss, Cong. Floreindo is paying miniscule rental for land used by TADECO? Mga kasabwat kayo? If you are then I can understand your sentiments. Natamaan kayo sa mga sinasabi ko. I do not need to write in tabloid or books. Open knowledge na yung abuso ginawa ng TADECO to the government. Aguirre told the committees on good government and justice that the land in question is “inalienable” land of the public domain and cannot be the subject of a joint venture agreement. “Even if the law allows lease of the land, he noted that the contract area of 5,308 hectares is more than five times the 1,000-hectare limit set under the 1987 and 1973 Constitutions on public agricultural lands that can be leased to a private entity.” Manigas kayo mga taga TADECO. I think your company will be in jeopardy in the next how many months! Lumipat na kayo sa ibang company kung may time.

        • Samantha Nicole

          read again alvic:-)
          ang sama mo naman… pinagtatawanan mo na ata ang libu libong tao na mawawalan ng trabaho? wooow! i just hope that President Duterte will be for the welfare of thousands of Filipino and not just for your own good. i can sense who are you talking for here..

    • Raagen Ravanor

      Another misinformed person in the name of Alvic… President Digong has yet to say something. Pinagunahan mo na agad, misinformation yan. Who will benefit if the JVA is revoked? Kasama ka ba dun?

      • Alvic_Speaks

        a lot will benefit… TADECO is not the only company who can provide such lifelihood. Kapit sa patalim na tao gaya mo ay dapat manatili sa penal colony at mabulok. May misinformation ka pang nalalaman. Buti nga ngayon na exposed yung kagaguhan ni Floreindo in taking advantage of its links with the government. Don’t wait for PRRD to make a comment. We already know what is his answer. Manigas kayo!!!! Inutil!

    • Goblins Bride

      We are the living proof of that golden eggs.. Us,the new generation of tadeco. I think Kuya, you have to join Mr. Aguirre on studying this case

    • Samantha Nicole

      Alvic_sFake este Speak alam mo ba ang pinaglalaban mo?! Pinaglalaban mo ba na mawalan ng trabaho ang libo-libong trabahante? Pinaglalaban mo ba na mawalan ng magandang kinabukasan ang mga anak ng trabahante?! Why are you after about how much the government is having?! Harshly?! Wow harsh ba yung the company had helped so many lives?! Nakikita mo lang kasi iisang tao lang nakinabang pero sa totoo lang libu libong tao ang nakinabang pati na rin ang ating gobyerno. Kaya kung di mo kayang tumbasan ang naibigay ng kumpanya sa ipinaglalaban mo MANAHIMIK KA! You dont know what you are talking. Kung di mo kami kayang bigyan ng trabaho at benepisyo gaya ng naibigay ng kumpanya sa libu libong tao MANAHIMIK KA NA LANG!? WE ARE FIGHTING FOR OUR LIVES HERE. Eh ikaw ano ba IPINAGLALABAN MO SA MGA SINASABI MO?
      Mas nakakahiya yang pinaglalaban mo!!??? Salot ka sa lipunan!!? Daig mo pa mamatay tao diyan sa pinagsasabi mo!

      • Alvic_Speaks

        well ang mga salot sa lipunan ay nandun sa Davao penal colony, nagtatanim ng saging… isa ka ba sa kanila? no wonder you speak like them! Read my comments again for your enlightenment. I am not against the company providing jobs for people who needed second chance in life. I am against company abusing its links with the government and short changing it with low rental. In the end, the banana farmers do not benefit from low rentals, it is the owner of the plantation, who is Floreindo, that will be enriched with this set-up. Gets mo? Or mahina ka sa English and cannot understand what I wrote about. If you didn’t uderstand then SHUT-UP! You are barking at the wrong tree! Kung ganyan ang asal mo, pwes, mabuti manitili ka na lang sa penal colony..

        • Samantha Nicole

          Woow looks who’s talking like shit… with all due respect whoever you are… who are you fighting with? dami mong alam ah! are you fighting with Mr. Speaker? magkano ba binayad sayo? ALAMIN mo din yang sinasabi mo. Masyado ka naman mapanghusga sa kapwa mo Filipino. Porke ba na taga penal colony mahina agad sa English. anyway, if you stand for the government. the government should not just revoked an agreement without even considering who will be directly affected. bakit mo ba nasasabi that the company is abusing itS link to the government for its own benefits? daming alam ah… again JVA is not a lease contract, ikaw ang magbasa. you read what is its core objective. unya dili lang gud ta mangasuko.. storya lang gud! hhaha have a nice day ahead of you. May you find peace within your heart. and i hope yang pinaglalaban mo eh talagang makakatulong sa libu-libong tao.


      @Alvic_ Speaks, ano pinaglalaban mo? tsaka wow ha? anong channel pinanuod mo at nasabi mo na nag promised si President Digong? Spreading information ka naman na walang Further STUDY, wag ganun niloloko mo mamayang Pilipino.

      You mentioned also Abusive? would you think ipaglalaban namin ito kung naging abusado ang kumpanya o ang namamahala sa aming mga mangagawa nila? Baka yang amo mong si Alvarez ang abusado, ginagamit ang position para lang makaganti kay Cong. Floirendo.

      • Alvic_Speaks

        wow, isa ka sa mga beneficiaries ni Floreindo? so galing penal colony ka din? get your facts straight or kulang ka lang talaga sa IQ. Floreindo is not paying the right market rate rentals for his use of Davao penal colony. Anong mali dyan? And walang further study information? Anong pinagsasabi mo bobo, public information yan, I was not the one spreading it. It has already been published in the news. I am not an employee of Alvarez, but you mentioned that your boss is Floreindo and I can understand your sentiment. Tell your boss, his days are numbered. And magkano bayad sayo para maging attack and barking dog ni Floreindo?

        • Arren Carson

          “His days are numbered”
          Dude is that a threat??

          • Alvic_Speaks

            figure it out yourself….

  • Jean

    @Alvic Speaks you sound like Alvarez. Kayo po ba ‘yan? Ang galing po ninyo sa math grabe. Invite an independent CPA on the next hearing po before you say na hindi naibigay nang tama ang share ng BuCor. Magbasa po kayo and study the figures more. Dada kayo nang dada eh.

  • Rhen21

    Mahirap kung pati sariling interest at galit ang mamayani. Lahat napapapanimawal na ni alvarez but God will not let win ang mga taong may masamang hangarin.

  • Little Meowmeow

    @Alvin Speaks
    Oh no!!! You were being blinded..by how much? hmmm…
    Oooops sorry Its too confidential.

  • Daniel Fortunato

    Kelan nila gagawin ang in-site investigation para malaman nila in person kung paano nagprogress ang Tadeco. Even us ,ordinary people, will support the golden goose who lays golden eggs.

  • Kevin Devilla

    This is an example of articulate news. Recent news spreading around the web are feeding us lies. I really cannot imagine thousands of workers will lose their jobs if Alvarez prevails. Please team Alvarez! Stop the nonsense, stop inflicting troubles against your countrymen.

  • Oliver Vicente

    For days now the Solgen, COA and the DOj with their bossing Alvarez has been spreading misinformation about the TADECO Bucor agreement trying to condition own minds. Eto na, lumabas na ang totoo. Di naman talaga illegal ang JVA.

  • tata musa

    there is indeed a goose laying golden eggs here. otherwise, hindi magkakagulo si mr. speaker at ang kanyang mga allies. they want to get the goose, kill it or get the golden eggs.

    it is so plain to see that mr. speaker has ill motives on this. with all the national issues and threats to national security, why TADECO, why JVA? why now? bakit ngayon ka lang mr. speaker? is it because you have your personal interests on this?

    • Stella Roque

      Halatang pampersonal na interes yan. TADECO exports globally and is known for its quality products and that is something that cannot be fulfilled by someone else, especially a dimwit like Alvarez who does not have any knowledge aside from his principles of lying, cheating and stealing.

  • Mitch Ilano

    Those 14 justice secretaries before Aguirre were known to be brilliant, Aguirre on the other hand is known to be exceptionally dim witted and is obviously just following Alvarez bidding.

  • Louis Acosta

    The issue with the JVA and the underpaid taxes can easily be solved but Aguirre refuses to comprehend because his master sees this as if he won the lottery. You guys are making yourselves a bad mark in Philippine history.

    • Vernice

      Being a house speaker? it’s more fun in the Philippines. There’s no justice in Department of Justice because of Aguirre.

      • Blaine Garcia

        Wala na talagang hustisya. Naturingang Department of Justice Secretary. Tsk.

        • Vernice

          Sad isn’t? It should be Department of Alvarez’s errands.

    • patlorezo

      wala talga sila balak isolved ang issue pa hhabain lang hangang wala ng mangyare.. style talga ng mga money maker..

  • Andy Herrera

    He is living in his own daydream with people bowing down to him and following his every command. Sorry, but this is the real world and our countrymen will not accredit his lousy decisions.

  • Manuel Viejo

    We might be a third world country but our people aren’t as stupid as the government think we are. These officials are making a fool of themselves thinking that we’re the ones being fooled.


    Why kill the golden goose? Kasi gusto nila sila (Aguirre and Alvarez) ang golden goose. Sorry mga mister hindi kayo mananalo.

    • Aliza Sison

      Hindi talaga. Masyado na sila biasee with no consideration of what are the reactions of their actions.

  • Carmela

    TADECO help many FILIPINO people na magtrabaho.. e si Mr. Speaker ano ginagawa humanap ng butas para makaisara sa iba..and para sya ang makinabang sa “GOLDEN EGGS”

    • Vernice

      Nawalan na siya ng 2 EGGS sa baba because of his deceptions.

      • Arren Carson

        Ei baka naman wala talaga siyang 2EGGS…kaya hahanap ng ibang EGGS.

        • Vernice

          Saklap pa naman ng ganon. wala na talaga siyang 2 EGGs kasi napaka duwag niya

  • Monique Cruz

    Grabe ka tlga Alvarez, inutusan mo pa tlga si Aguirre na ideklarang illlegal yung JVA. Tsk tsk tsk babae lang kaaway mo uy… wag ng mandamay pa ng libo libong manggagawa ng TADECO. Harapin mo yung totoong kaaway mo na si BMW!!!!!!!

    • Arren Carson

      Yan talagang si BMW ei. Ang dami nang nadadamay. Baka takot siya kay BMW.

    • Johnmarie

      they don’t care if thousands of people get hurt..importante lang ung sarili nila at kung ano pakkinabangan nila sa TADECO

  • Kevin Devilla

    Funny how aguirre follows Alvarez’s bidding and then alvarez will ask aguirre to finish some of his errands also. Indeniable teamwork

  • Dian Mercado

    why kill the golden goose? coz golden goose lay golden eggs. At ito ang titirahin nila kung sino ang nakakaangat hihilahin pababa.