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May tinatago? Calida evades media, pushes cameras away

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By Xave Gregorio

Solicitor General Jose Calida was hostile to Senate media when asked about calls for his resignation amid revelations that his family’s security agency has bagged multi-million contracts with several government agencies when the Duterte administration came into power.

Calida was in Senate premises on the day when the chamber was set to tackle a bill strengthening the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and the rules committee met to discuss the proposed Senate resolution questioning the Supreme Court decision ousting Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.

Asked by Senate reporters why he was at the Senate on Monday (May 28) as he emerged from the office of Senator Ping Lacson, Calida said, “It’s none of your business.”

Reporters continued to throw questions at him, while cameras attempted to block his path, prompting him to push these away, breaking GMA-7’s tripod in the process.

Senator Kiko Pangilinan has called for his resignation, likening his situation to former Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo who resigned amid allegations of conflict of interest.

Meanwhile, Senator Risa Hontiveros has called on President Rodrigo Duterte to sack and sue Calida over the controversy he is embroiled in.

But when asked for comment about the call for his resignation, Calida shouted, “No! There is none!”

He also refused to defend himself from allegations that he failed to avoid conflicts of interest, as documents surfaced showing that his family’s Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency, Inc. (VISAI) bagged P150 million in contracts with several government agencies, including the House of Representatives and the Department of Justice, where the OSG is an attached agency.

“I will defend myself in the proper forum, not here!” Calida said.

However, he already denied any conflicts of interest in a statement, saying that he has already divested his shares in VISAI.

But documents from the Securities and Exchange Commission submitted two weeks ago by a Sereno supporter with a complaint against Calida before the Office of the Ombudsman showed that he still owned 60 percent of the company.

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