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‘No sacred cow!’ Trillanes still pushing with probe on Calida’s security agency

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by Xave Gregorio

Senator Antonio Trillanes IV would still be pushing for a Senate probe into the government contracts bagged by the security agency of the family of Solicitor General Jose Calida.

“Mark me, no matter where he hides, Mr. Calida’s corrupt practices will soon be exposed. Tuloy ang imbestigasyon!” Trillanes said in a statement Friday (August 17).

“Let me remind Mr. Calida that he is not a sacred cow. He does not have any immunity from any legislative inquiry. Thus, his petition for TRO has no legal basis,” he said.

Calida and his family is asking the Supreme Court to stop the Senate from investigating their security agency, Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency, Inc. (VISAI), which bagged P261 million worth of contracts from government agencies, including the Department of Justice, where the Office of the Solicitor General is an attached agency.

He has denied accusations of conflict of interest, even as he remains owning 60 percent of VISAI’s shares.

The Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials requires public officials to “avoid conflict of interest at all times” and mandates them to resign from any position in private businesses in 30 days after assuming office or divest shareholdings or interest in 60 days after assuming office.

In their petition before the SC, the Calidas argue that Trillanes’ Senate civil service committee does not have jurisdiction over government contracts. However, Trillanes’ Senate Resolution No. 760, which calls for a probe on VISAI, has already been transferred to the Blue Ribbon committee, chaired by Senator Richard Gordon, upon the motion of Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri.

The Calidas also say that the Senate probe serves no legislative purpose. All Senate inquiries are in aid of legislation.

The Blue Ribbon committee was scheduled to open the investigation on the Calidas and VISAI Thursday (August 16), 10 a.m., but was called off a day before.