Senator sees Calida hand in voiding of amnesty
Senator Antonio Trillanes IV sees the hand of Solicitor General Jose Calida in President Rodrigo Duterte’s order revoking the amnesty given to him by President Benigno S. Aquino III in 2011.
“This is Mr. Calida’s handiwork. And, of course, his master, (Mr.) Duterte, likes it very much,” Trillanes said in an interview in the Senate on Tuesday.
“They’ve been trying everything to stop the hearing that I will conduct against Mr. Calida,” he said, without identifying “they.”
The Senate committee on civil service and government reorganization, headed by Trillanes is looking into possible conflict of interest in Calida’s remaining the majority owner of Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc. (Visai), a security company that has won multimillion-peso contracts with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other government agencies.
Police officers arrived in the Senate to arrest Trillanes as the senator was making a case against Calida, telling representatives of the Civil Service Commission, DOJ, University of the Philippines Law Center and Integrated Bar of the Philippines that conflict of interest came from the fact that as solicitor general, Calida has “all agencies that have contracts with [Visai as] his [legal] clients.”
“As far as the government is concerned, the president of [Visai] is Mr. Calida.”
There was no immediate comment from Calida on Tuesday.
The hearing went on as the Senate refused to allow the arrest of Trillanes while on the premises of the chamber.
Trillanes described the revocation of his amnesty “a big foolishness” and Mr. Duterte’s order “stupid.”
“This shows what a coward Mr. Duterte is, doesn’t it? He signed it then he went to Israel to pretend he was busy and had no hand in this. This is what you call coward’s shot,” the senator said.
He said his lawyers were trying to get the order voided. —WITH A REPORT FROM DONA Z. PAZZIBUGAN
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