Risa Hontiveros on SolGen Calida issue: ‘Case closed, game over’
Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday said Solicitor General Jose Calida’s admission that he has yet to divest from a private security company owned by his family “already pointed to his guilt.”
“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 in a statement.
Calida has admitted that he has yet to divest himself of his business interest from Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc. (Visai) that bagged P150 million worth of security service contracts from government agencies.
The Inquirer Research reported that Calida owns 60 percent of Visai while the remaining shares in the company belong to his wife and other members of their family.
On Monday, Calida said he has resigned as chairman and president of Visai, adding that there was no need for him divest.
“That he has not yet divested his interest in [Visai] is of no moment since the requirement of the law is either to resign from the management of the enterprise and/or divest himself of his interest in it,” his statement said.
According to the latest SEC filing of Visai, the solicitor general remains a stockholder and board member even after his resignation from the company.
Hontiveros said Calida violated Article VII, Section 13 of the Constitution that states: “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 senator also said the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (RA 6713) has spelled out the definition of conflict of interest.
“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,” she said. /vvp
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