SolGen mum on role in Trillanes amnesty woes

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2018 02:43 PM | Updated as of Sep 05 2018 12:51 AM

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MANILA - Solicitor General Jose Calida on Tuesday kept silent on his role in a declaration voiding the amnesty granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. 

Trillanes on Tuesday faced arrest for leading military uprisings in 2003 and 2007, after President Rodrigo Duterte voided the amnesty earlier granted him, citing his alleged failure to comply with minimum requirements. 

The lawmaker, a staunch administration critic, denied this, saying the administration was "trying everything" to stop the legislative probe against Calida. 

Asked about his role in the review of Trillanes' amnesty, Calida told ANC, "I'm sorry I cannot discuss that because we have what we call privileged communication between the lawyer and the clients, which is the Republic of the Philippines." 

The government's top lawyer said his office "was not necessarily" in charge of the review "because we are a law firm and we do what is our duty." 

Calida, meanwhile, said he is ready to represent the government should Trillanes bring up the invalidation of his amnesty before the Supreme Court.

SOLGEN DARES SENATOR: FILE RAPS 

Trillanes, chair of the Senate civil service committee, is leading an inquiry into the alleged conflict of interest in roughly P358.3 million worth of government contracts bagged by the security firm of Calida's family.

During Tuesday's hearing, Trillanes presented documents from the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (PhilGEPS) supposedly showing that Calida is still "president and contact person" of the firm up until last year. 

Calida maintained "there is no violation" in the transactions. 

"If he (Trillanes) wants, he should file a case. He's using the Senate investigation and he's acting as a prosecutor and a judge. That is usurpation," he added. 

Calida and his family last month asked the Supreme Court to stop Trillanes' inquiry, saying it is the Senate Blue Ribbon which has jurisdiction over the case.