SolGen pressured to bare SALNs
The retired businesswoman who filed a graft and misconduct complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman against Solicitor General Jose Calida challenged him on Friday to make public his financial statements after he was found to be the majority owner of a company that provides security to four state agencies since 2016 when he joined the government.
In her two-page letter to Calida, Jocelyn Marie Acosta said records from the Securities and Exchange Commission showed that he owned 60 percent of Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc. (Visai) while the rest of the shares in the company belonged to the other members of his family.
Acosta said Visai had contracts to provide security personnel to the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., National Economic Development Authority, National Anti-Poverty Commission and National Parks Development Corp.
Conflict of interest
“Your ownership of Visai shows a clear conflict of interest,” Acosta told the Solicitor General.
She demanded that Calida release his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALNs) from 2016 up to the present as he himself had brought a quo warranto petition in the Supreme Court which led to the removal of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
In a landmark ruling last week, the tribunal upheld Calida’s argument that Sereno’s failure to submit all her SALNs when she applied for the top judicial post in 2012 proved that she did not have integrity to lead the judiciary.
“Being the architect of the quo warranto petition, you now have the burden of showing to the people that you have more integrity than (Sereno),” Acosta said.
Calida, who has not replied to Acosta’s earlier complaint, could not be reached for comment on her letter.
Acosta last week filed a graft, malversation and misconduct complaint against Calida in the Ombudsman, citing among other things, his failure to divest his majority stake
Her complaint said Calida violated the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards, which requires officials to divest their business interests within 30 days of assuming office, or their shareholdings within 60 days.
Calida has been on leave since rumors of his supposed extramarital affair with his legal secretary in the Office of the Solicitor General spread on social media two weeks ago.
In her complaint to the Ombudsman, Acosta said Calida was “guilty of malversation” when he “diverted” P1.8 million in public funds to his alleged
22-year-old mistress, but she did not provide any evidence of the alleged offense.
Acosta is one of the founders of the Silent Majority, which backed the candidacies of Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo in the 2016 polls. The group is critical of the Duterte administration and supports Sereno.
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