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Opposition senators seek probe into Calida security agency’s gov’t deals

Opposition senators on Wednesday filed a resolution seeking an investigation into the alleged conflict of interest in the multi-million-peso government contracts awarded to a security agency owned by the family of Solicitor General Jose Calida.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Senators Risa Hontiveros, Paolo Benigno Aquino, Antonio Trillanes, and Leila de Lima signed Resolution 760 which urged the Senate Committee on Civil Service and Government Reorganization to investigate.

The resolution said Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency, Inc (VISAI) is owned entirely by the immediate family of Calida with the Solicitor General still owning 60 percent of shares as of September 29, 2016 or two months after he assumed office.

From August 2016 to January 2018, VISAI won 14 government contracts, two of which were with the Department of Justice amounting to P12.4 million.

Nine other contracts were won after Calida assumed the position of Solicitor General, the resolution said.

“So involved was the Solicitor  General that in the Notices of Award on the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (Philgeps) website, the former was listed as the contact to VISAI,” the document read.

It added that VISAI bagged two contracts with the House of Representatives amounting to P96 million at the start of the 17th Congress.

“The total value of government contracts clinched by VISAI amounts to P261.039 million,” it stated.

The other agencies that VISAI has contract with are the National Economic and Development Authority amounting to P6.88 million and National Anti-Poverty Commission amounting to P2.88 million.

“Considering that the Solicitor General acts and represents the Republic and its people before any court, tribunal, or commission as the ends of justice may require, it is of the highest importance that the person occupying the office remains beyond reproach, acts in a manner that inspires confidence in the civil service and in the rule of law, and conducts himself with utmost integrity and decency,” the resolution said. —NB, GMA News

Tags: josecalida