FACT CHECK: Is there a conflict of interest in Calida family’s security agency?
Jose Calida said in a statement that he resigned as chair and president of his family-owned Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc. (Visai) before he was appointed as solicitor general on July 1, 2016.
A check with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) showed a letter dated July 13, 2016, informing the commission that Calida resigned as president and chair of Visai effective June 30, 2016.
The letter was attached to the latest available general information sheet (GIS) submitted to the SEC on July 14, 2016.
Calida was replaced by his wife, Milagros, while their son Josef became the company’s vice president and corporate secretary. His daughter Michelle is the company’s treasurer, while his other son, Mark Jorel, is a board member and stockholder.
Visai’s earlier GIS dated April. 4, 2016, which was submitted on May 3, 2016, but updated on Sept. 29, 2016, showed that Calida owned 60 percent of the company’s shares, while his wife and their three children each owned 10 percent.
The company’s GIS was updated in September 2016 to notify the SEC of an error in Visai’s registration date in its latest documents.
Malacañang has defended Calida, saying there is no conflict of interest in his family’s ownership of a security agency that has bagged multimillion-peso contracts with different government agencies.
Documents on government websites show that Visai bagged security service contracts from the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) and National Parks Development Corp. (NPDC) after Calida assumed office.
The Neda contract, worth P6.88 million, was signed in August 2016; NAPC, P2.8 million for one year, was signed in September 2016; and NPDC, P10.4 million for six months, was signed in June 2017.
Under Section 9 of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, public officials should divest themselves of their business holdings within 60 days from their appointment to the government to avoid conflict of interest.
According to the latest SEC filing of Visai, the solicitor general remains a stockholder and board member even after his resignation from the company.
Visai’s July 13, 2016, GIS was submitted 14 days after Calida’s appointment as solicitor general. But the document does not provide information that lists down the number and amount of shares owned by the stockholders.
SOURCES: SEC, OSG.GOV.PH, NEDA.GOV.PH, NAPC.GOV.PH, NPDC.GOV.PH, DILG.GOV.PH
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.