President-elect Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has chosen Solicitor General Jose Calida to lead the Commission on Audit in the next administration.
This was announced on Wednesday by incoming Press Secretary Atty. Trixie Cruz-Angeles.
Calida was appointed by outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte as solicitor general in 2016.
He also served as undersecretary of the Department of Justice from 2001 to 2004. During his stint there, he was in charge of the National Bureau of Investigation, Witness Protection, Security and Benefits Program, Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, DOJ National Task Force on Terrorism and Internal Security, and DOJ Task Force on Financial Fraud and Money Laundering.
Calida also held the position of executive director of the Dangerous Drugs Board, in which he conceptualized the "Barkada Kontra Droga," the agency's drug prevention project.
As solicitor general, Calida convinced the Supreme Court in 2016 to junk the petitions challenging Duterte's decision to bury Marcos' father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos Sr., at the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
Calida had also sought the inhibition of SC Senior Associate Justice Marvic Leonen from the poll protest involving the results of the 2016 vice presidential election, claiming the magistrate was biased against the Marcoses.
Leonen did not inhibit and later penned a decision on behalf of the tribunal dismissing Marcos' protest.
The tribunal also questioned Calida's legal standing to join the case, which it said was between two parties — Marcos and Vice President Leni Robredo — and did not involve the government.
Calida was among the top earners in government in 2021, ranking 12th with an income of P16.59 million, according to COA.
Cruz-Angeles also revealed that Jose Arnulfo "Wick" Veloso would be the president of the Government Service Insurance System.
Veloso is the current president of the Philippine National Bank.
He previously served as chief executive officer of HSBC Philippines. Veloso’s extensive banking and capital markets experience spans over 30 years, 23 years of which were with HSBC.
A day before his inauguration as the country's 17th president, Marcos has yet to name his choices to head national agencies such as the Department of Health, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Department of Energy, the Department of Science and Technology, and the Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.
Cruz-Angeles said the president-elect's team is still in the process of screening potential nominees.
"Sinusuri pa po kasi nila. As you know nagtalaga tayo ng application process at mayroong proseso para sa pag-eevaluate dahil nga sinasabi niyo mahalaga 'yung mga posisyon, hindi puwedeng madaliin 'yung proseso," she said.
(They are still evaluating it. We have an application process and there's also a process for evaluation because, as you said, these are important positions and we cannot rush the process.) —KG/VBL, GMA News