Calida severed ties with security firm, denies conflict of interest

Published May 27, 2018, 3:23 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Jeffrey Damicog

Solicitor General Jose Calida has denied allegations of conflict of interest over his family’s ownership of a security firm which has bagged several government contracts, saying he had long resigned as president of the company.

Solicitor Genral Jose C. Calida (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Solicitor Genral Jose C. Calida (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“There is no conflict of interest,” he assured in a statement.

Calida said he already resigned as chairman and president of Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency, Inc. even before he took over as Solicitor General on May 30, 2016.

The Solicitor General gave the explanation as he faces a criminal complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB) concerning his family’s ownership of Vigilant.

“Clearly then, Solgen Calida complied with Section 9 of RA 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees) when he resigned as Chairman and President of Vigilant before he assumed office as Solicitor General,” read his statement.

“His Interest in Vigilant was stated in his SALN (Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth) when he assumed office,” he added.

Under the allegations, Calida has shown conflict of interest since Vigilant currently has contracts with a number of government agencies including National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC), the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), and the National Parks Development Corporation (NPDC).

Calida said he has complied with the provisions of RA 6713 which prohibits public officials and employees from having “any financial or material interest in any transactions requiring the approval of their office” and having involvement in “any private enterprise regulated, supervised or licensed by their office.”

He pointed out that “the OSG does not regulate, supervise of license security agencies like Vigilant.”