Second of three parts
Analysis by Raïssa Robles
Solicitor General Jose Calida has denied any conflict of interest in continuing to own and control Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc.
Even the spokesman of the Officer of the Solicitor General (OSG), Hector Calilung, issued a statement in his boss’ defense, saying:
“There is no conflict of interest. The contracts between Vigilant and the NPDC (National Parks Development Committee) did not require the approval of the OSG. Also, the OSG does not regulate, supervise or license security agencies like Vigilant.”
Calilung is right in saying that the contracts between Vigilant and National Parks did not require OSG approval, nor does OSG “regulate, supervise or license security agencies”.
However, Atty. Calilung and his boss, SolGen Calida, fail to inform the public of the OSG’s role in certain government contracts.
I believe there is very likely a continuing and direct conflict of interest insofar as six of the 14 government contracts signed by Vigilant are concerned. This includes the P10.4 million contract signed by Vigilant with the National Parks that the OSG spokesman mentioned as an example of “no conflict of interest”.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) is a unique one in the government bureaucracy. It is not mentioned in the Constitution but it is powerful. A section in the Administrative Code (later amended by Republic Act No. 9417) listed the powers and mandate of the OSG headed by the SolGen.
The SolGen, in effect, acts like a special prosecutor for specific cases. His second mandate/function is what—I believe — very likely puts SolGen Calida in a direct and continuing conflict of interest situation.
Mandate No. 2 in Section 35 of Book II, Chapter 12 of the Administrative Code gives the OSG the power to:
“Investigate, initiate court action, or in any manner proceed against any person, corporation or firm for the enforcement of any contract, bond, guarantee, mortgage, pledge or other collateral executed in favor of the Government.”
You can read that section by going to this link—https://www.lawphil.net/executive/execord/eo1987/eo_292_1987.html
It is that power of the OSG to “Investigate, initiate court action, or in any manner proceed against any person, corporation or firm for the enforcement of any contract” that puts Calida in a continuing conflict of interest situation with regard to six of the 14 contracts that Vigilant signed after Calida became SolGen.
Every government contract signed by a private contractor like Calida’s company has a section at the end that spells out how conflicts between the contracting parties should be resolved.
Vigilant’s contract with National Parks (which I have posted in its entirety at the end of this piece) is an example. Its Article 10 states:
RESOLUTION OF CONFLICTS
10.a In the event of any conflict arising from the Security Service Contract between the COMMITTEE and the AGENCY, the parties shall endeavour to settle their conflicts amicably, failing which, the same shall be submitted to arbitration and/or to a court of competent jurisdiction.
Who do you think would be the National Parks lawyer if amicable settlement fails?
The OSG is the standby lawyer in all government contracts, provided these are not issued by government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).
A separate law (Republic Act 3838) assigned the Government Corporate Counsel to be the standby lawyer for GOCC contracts. (Also at the end of this piece is a list of GOCCs).
Of the 14 contracts that Vigilant signed, five are with the state gambling regulator Pagcor — which is a GOCC. The five contracts are worth a combined P97 million. A P5.97 million contract is with another GOCC – the National Electrification Administration.
Calida’s security guard business also clinched a P53.7 million contract with the Lower House but this body is not under the Executive Branch so it doesn’t count as a conflict of interest case. Besides, the Lower House has enough lawyers to defend it.
However — and we come to the heart of the matter — Vigilant signed six contracts worth a total of P61,798,638.83 with the following government agencies that are not GOCCs. and therefore the standby lawyer for these contracts is the OSG:
National Economic Development Authority – ₱6,876,737.76
National Anti-Poverty Commission – ₱2,870,194.32
Department of Justice – ₱5,678,353.68
National Parks Development Committee – ₱10,369,819.68
Department of Justice – ₱6,758,862.77
National Parks Development Committee – ₱29,244,670.62
This is why I believe Article 10 – and similar sections in Vigilant’s six government contracts — very likely puts the Office of the Solicitor General (whose head IS Calida) always on standby, just in case relations sour between the two contracting parties and this results in a lawsuit.
Because Calida – whether he likes it or not – IS the CHIEF government lawyer for non-GOCC state agencies that signed contracts with Vigilant.
THAT is what very likely places Calida, due to being the SolGen, in a direct and continuing conflict of interest situation.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Previously, I wrote that Calida’s security guard business prospers mightily under Duterte, compared to 10 years before:
Calida’s security guard business prospers mightily under Duterte, compared to 10 years before
The third and final part of this series will be entitled – Psssst, SolGen Calida, you seem to have committed a serious violation you charged CJ Sereno with
Meanwhile, below is Vigilant’s contract with National Parks Development Committee which has a clause (Section 10) on page 8 that very likely puts SolGen Calida in a direct and continuing conflict of interest.
This investigative business of Calida’s agency would also open up Pandora’s box, many can of worms , and of course, his unlawful ways and means to employ and deploy security guards and more into the sensitive government agencies and looked up, read and scrutinized sensitive information in the guise of innocent employment that his security business is supposedly protecting, investigating and guarding all govt offices as they’re rolled into one guarding, securing and lawyering.
In short, his business became a legitimate eyes and ears for clandestine operations depending who the information is favorable for.
Imagine the confidential communications, notes, messages and information that they are allowed to see in the course of their work and supposedly privy to, that they are not supposed to be sharing to the other different agencies. It could have exposed the government officials esp. the opposition to a potential sabotage and preemptive strike from those with malicious plans and thwart any operation.
We may call it legal spying, and plain espionage within. My criminal mind ….
… TO whom the information is for :) ENGLISH POLICE PATROL. :)
‘Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III thumbed down on Friday the proposal of the Consultative Committee (Con-Com) to allow President Rodrigo Duterte to seek another term’ under the draft for federal constitution.
Here in this SITE, many LONG HANDS will smash the tables of the Con-Com! Na baliw na sila!
The ever-intent is no president holds office more than 6 years. To allow a president like PDutz to run for president after 2022 is to BLESS in violation of a blatant ever-intent that no president runs again after 6 years term. Never mind if the answer is ‘He/she might not win.’ Bull-fuck. yan!
No! No! NOOOO!
he he he
so much backscratchings going on, that can only be expected of koko pimentel, he and puno were both recruited by duterte, both butchering the constitution as required by the buang in situ. the goal: the buang in situ to reign forever, much like his drug war that goes on and on and on and on . . . the killings of suspects that goes on and on and on, erosion of law and order that goes on and on and on . . . the economy that is palubog, palubog, palubog . . .
just doing their job and being paid to do so, koko pimentel et al, sinking the republic and playing the deadly dirge of federalims. a funeral wreath to us all.
big no to federalism!
Ma’m Raissa Robles raises this issue: Who represents the SolGen when he or his Vigilant Security Company is sued showing a CONFLICT of interest in the circumstances? [ I hope I get this right].
Here, as highlighted, is a SC decision En Banc: consolidated cases – G.R. 87977 Iluminado Urbano & Marcial Acapulco vs Francisco I. Chavez and
G.R. No. 88578 Nemesio G. Co vs Regional Trial Court of Pasig Br 165, the Office of the Solicitor General and Francisco I. Chavez.
Both cases decided March 19, 1990.
These consolidated Cases is either direct a precedent to the issue raised by Ma’m Robles or indirectly persuasive to the issue.
The SC said:
. . . WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the herein Petitions are hereby GRANTED. The Office of the Solicitor General is permanently prohibited from representing the said respondents in OSP Case No. 88-02780 pending in the Office of the Ombudsman and respondent Francisco I. Chavez in Civil Case No. 55379 pending before the Regional Trial Court of Pasig, Metro Manila. No pronouncement as to costs.
Fernan, C.J., Narvasa, Melencio-Herrera, Gutierrez, Jr., Cruz, Paras, Padilla, Bidin, Sarmiento, Cortes, Griño-Aquino, Medialdea and Regalado, JJ., concur.
Feliciano, J., Did not participate in the deliberations.
Rationale of the decision: . . . ‘Accordingly, there is a clear conflict of interest here, and one which smacks of ethical considerations, where the Office of the Solicitor General as counsel for the public official, defends the latter in the preliminary investigation stage of the criminal case, and where the same office, as appellate counsel of the People of the Philippines, represents the prosecution when the case is brought on appeal. This anomalous situation could not have been contemplated and allowed by the law, its unconditional terms and provisions notwithstanding. It is a situation which cannot be countenanced by the Court.’
Ma’m Robles is right – A clear conflict of interest exists. And will exists potentially on Solgen Calida in re: his 60% ownership of the stocks of Vigilant Security Company.
Reference of law & jurisprudence, etc. cited by the COURT:
1. Presidential Decree No. 478
2. Section 1661 of the Revised Administrative Code
3. Executive Order No. 300, series of 1987
4. Anti-Graft League of the Philippines, Inc.,99 SCRA 644 (1980)
5. Solicitor General v. Garrido, 100 SCRA 276 (1980)
Conflict of interest cases on SolGen
Kindly release as UNDER MODERATION. Thank you.
Released na ba? Sometimes, the comment goes to spam. sorry. Akismet is so unpredictable.
Yes Ma’m. O.K. Thank you.
“The SC said:
. . . WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the herein Petitions are hereby GRANTED. The Office of the Solicitor General is permanently prohibited from representing the said respondents in OSP Case No. 88-02780 pending in the Office of the Ombudsman ….
Bull’s eye LEONA. But this was in 1990. We may have this problem blowing in the wind with the present atmosphere in SC and perhaps the Ombudsman.
Nice discovery though.
“Here, as highlighted, is a SC decision En Banc: consolidated cases – G.R. 87977 Iluminado Urbano & Marcial Acapulco vs Francisco I. Chavez and
G.R. No. 88578 Nemesio G. Co vs Regional Trial Court of Pasig Br 165, the Office of the Solicitor General and Francisco I. Chavez.
Both cases decided March 19, 1990..”
These are the kind of justices that the future attorneys should emulate. It is forever a legacy and a great source of precious undiluted decisions and discussions.
If they are still alive, respect. If not, I am sure they were not blocked from the gates of heavenly justice… if ever :)
Has the SC given Duterte 10 days for him to answer Elly Pamatong’s quo warranto petition against him?
Sagot sa mga dasal, kayah?
How good was it in form and substance Lawyer Elly Pamatong’s petition? Was his a precursor to undermine … avail of double-jeopardy proviso? Or will it succeed?
Will ACJ SAJ Carpio still be consistent? Now with an existing SC ‘quo warranto’ jurisprudence for impeachable officials. What about the eight, and the six magistrates? Will all be in the same block to oust?
Will there be a different voting dynamics for all seating SC magistrates when they decide PRRDuterte’s fate?
the buang in situ stepping down if sc favors qw against him? why wait po, better jump ship at a time and place of his own choosing, better yan than being pushed, methink. he’s as popular as mosquitoes and just as obiquitous, buzzing, buzzing, buzzing, tantalizing, tantalizing tantalizing with talks of stepping down time and again. stepping down and yet feet niya glued to malakanyang. the buang in situ would need permission of the chinese overseer bong go to unglue hisself and step down.
if bong go says no way jose, youre stuck to the eyeballs! so stay put! and stay put he will, else gigirahin siya ng china. war! war! war! takot yan sa war. and cannot divorce bong go!
plus there is midas to consider, gustong maging justice associate yan. if chosen, midas for sure will vote contra qw. he’s more for perpetuating the buang in situ, so ambitious. then, midas will go for the high chair, the ultimate seat.
so, may balita pala siya sa supreme court na ready na raw yong decision sa qw niya, may hot line pala siya, may direct access! knows before hand the doings of supreme court.
John Dawn says
So.. is there already AN ACTUAL CONFLICT OF INTEREST? Is THERE ALREADY A LAWSUIT? Do you know that SG Calida can choose to divest if an ACTUAL conflict of interest do arise.
There is already a case filed in the Ombudsman, so, why not just wait?
what a quaint suggestion. Just wait.
maybe john dawn can wait for the ombudsman to resolve calida’s case; in the meantime, people like me talk and network and disseminate info, for and against calida’s vested interests. futile that might be to john dawn but it’s outlet for people like me. we’ll talk while we can, dialogue and discourse, coming and going and free flowing. hindi pa bawal ang mga iyon. god has given us mouths, let’s talk, given us hearts to feel, minds to think, and freedom to savor. and the likes of john dawn can get stuffed, he, he, he.
raissa is doing a very good job of telling what lawyers are not telling, excellent job raissa has done too, opening dialogue and discourse. lawyers are so tight lipped, vested interest muna nila fist and foremost, power playing pa, wanting yata to monopolize knowledge, keep it away from the un-initiated.
please carry on, raissa. your articles are much read and waited, initiated or not.
anyhow, as regard the dilg link so kindly posted by john dawn above, does anyone know who is the current dilg chief? him ba na sobrang importante and garnished himself with16 bodyguards? him ba yong wearing fake naval uniform? ‘sus-maria-e-hosep! and who provides security for dilg? my apologies for being ignorant, hindi kasi ako lawyer, he, he, he.
dino bah alam? de hins? di henyo.
Vigilant’s securities prospered in 18 months is just like a walk in the park.
While Wandaful walks in Duty Free shops and collects 2.5 million worth of goodies.
Why are they in power for?
In his heyday, asks customs to ‘palampasin na ninyo’ ang mga ukay-ukay ni tipaklong.
Just wait and see
On ‘… Atty. Calilung and his boss, SolGen Calida, fail to inform the public …’, foremost on the top hat of a security officer on duty is for to watch, look for and listen to about anything from anyone, day & night, that could disrupt or breach security, protect and serve its clients – also against trespassers.
Why should he divest? Makes it easier for gov’t, same contact person, same head, same boss – who you gonna call? No more bureaucratic red tape. Plus, he has a badge of honor in his gnostic circles. Also never lost a case in the SC, as they say. Calida, as the Solicitor General, has your best interests at heart.
tsk tsk tsk, there is a dissonant, somewhere.
sekyus are hired to protect and serve clients, and who’s going to protect clients from sekyus? protectors can be perpetrators, ask calida, he, he, he.
Delicalida, walang delicaleza.