Thursday, August 16, 2018

'HE IS NOT A SACRED COW': Trillanes to Calida





Composite photo of Sol Gen Jose Calida and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV  (from GMA News)




Manila, Philippines – Opposition senator Antonio Trillanes IV slams solicitor general Jose Calida’s plea before the Supreme Court on Friday, to prevent the Senate from probing the government contracts bagged by the firm owned by Calida’s family.

Trillanes, one of Duterte admin’s staunched critics said that the SolGen is not immune from any Legislative inquiry.


"Let me remind Mr. Calida that he is not a sacred cow. He does not have any immunity from any legislative inquiry. Thus, his petition for TRO has no legal basis," the senator said in a statement

"Mark me, no matter where he hides, Mr. Calida's corrupt practices will soon be exposed. Tuloy ang imbestigasyon!" he added.

In his petition,Calida accused Trillanes of severe abuse of discretion in setting a public hearing and summoning them over the issue.

“in the absence of a resolution by the Senate or any of its committees approving the proposed resolution directing the conduct of an inquiry in aid of legislation.” The petition reads.

The solicitor general also questions the jurisdiction of the Senate Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation – chaired by Trillanes, to conduct investigation of specific conflicts of interests of certain individual in the government.*


Calida's petition asking SC to stop the probe on VISAI / photo grabbed from ABS CBN 


Calida said that jurisdiction over their case should be under the Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Richard Gordon.

According to a report from ABS CBN News, documents were earlier revealed showing the security firm owned by Calida’s wife Milagros got multimillion-peso contract with at least 3 government agencies, only months after his appointment as government’s chief lawyer in 2016.

Calida’s family security agency named Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc. (VISAI) signed two contracts allegedly worth of nearly P40 million with the National Parks Development Committee, a P2.8 million contract with the National Anti-Poverty Commission, and a P6.8 million contract with the National Economic and Development Authority from 2016 to 2018.

Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano, another opposition lawmaker, said that Calida’s VISAI earns at least P150 million in different government agencies, which reportedly includes the Department of Justice (DOJ).

"This alone, implicates him in violation of the government’s Code of Conduct. Add the fact that Calida’s company was able to secure 10 government contracts right after he became Solicitor General. Even the long-time security agency in the House of Representatives, Lockheed, was kicked out at the onset of the 17th Congress and replaced by that of Calida's. Clearly, there is cause for suspicion over these dealings," Alejano said in a statement.



 Source: ABS CBN News