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No conflict of interest: Calida insists on regularity of deals with gov’t

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Solicitor General Jose Calida insists that there is nothing irregular with the government contracts that his family’s security firm has.

“We reiterate that based on textual reading of R.A. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees), and as confirmed by jurisprudence, the Solicitor General is not in conflict of interest,” read the letter of his lawyer Jose Bernas sent to the Senate committee on civil service.

With this, Bernas pointed out Calida does not need to attend the hearing being conducted by the Senate committee chaired by Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Trillanes has already begun conducting the hearings based on allegations of irregularities in the government contracts considering Calida is solicitor general.

“It seems to use that the issue sought to be explored by the hearing is whether the solicitor general or his family or other public official should be absolutely prohibited from having an interest in government transaction, directly or indirectly,” said Bernas.

“Under current jurisprudence and law, there is no such prohibition and it would be unfair to carry out the hearings premised upon the existence of such a prohibition,” he explained.

Calida currently has a pending petition before the Supreme Court (SC) asking that the hearings be stopped.

The Solicitor General has already been accused by Trillanes as being responsible in voiding the Senator’s amnesty in order to stop the Senate hearings.