Press Release
May 30, 2018


After Solicitor General Jose Calida admitted that he has yet to divest himself of his business interest in a private security company that bagged more than P150 million in contracts from various government agencies since 2016, Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros today said that his admission already pointed to his guilt.

"A fish is caught by its mouth. By saying that he has not divested himself of his majority shares from a family business that has snared millions of pesos worth of government contracts, Mr. Calida has virtually admitted to allegations of corrupt practices and conflict of interest. Case closed. Game over, " Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros said that Section 3(i) of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, spelled out conflict of interest as a situation where a public official "is a member of a board, an officer or a substantial stockholder of a private corporation or owner or has a substantial interest in a business, and the interest of such corporation or business, or his rights or duties therein, may be opposed to or affected by the faithful performance of official duty."

The opposition Senator also pointed to Section 4 (a) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which states that it is "unlawful for any person having family or close personal relation with any public official to capitalize or exploit or take advantage of such family or close personal relation by directly or indirectly requesting . . . pecuniary advantage from any other person having some business, transaction, application, request or contract with the government."

The Senator also said that Calida violated Article VII, Section 13 of the Constitution stating that "the President, Vice-President, the Member of the Cabinet, and their deputies or assistants shall not, unless otherwise provided in this Constitution, hold any other office or employment during their tenure. They shall not, during said tenure, directly or indirectly, practice any other profession,participate in any business,or be financially interested in any contract with, or in any franchise, or special privilege granted by the Government or any subdivision, agency, or instrumentality thereof, including government-owned or controlled corporations, or their subsidiaries. They shall strictly avoid conflict of interest in the conduct of their office."

"The violations are many and unmistakable. I reiterate my challenge to President Duterte to fire and file cases against Mr. Calida. Can't the President smell it? This is not just a whiff of corruption. The stench is nauseating," Hontiveros said.

It was reported that records from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) show that Calida owns 60 percent of Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Incorporated (VISAI), while the remaining shares in the company belong to his wife and other members of their family. VISAI won 10 government contracts between August 2016 and January 2018 amounting to P 150 million.

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