'Unusual' for Calida to dig through Trillanes records, says ex-SolGen


Posted at Sep 11 2018 08:43 AM

MANILA - It was "strange" and "unusual" for Solicitor General Jose Calida to dig through Senator Antonio Trillanes IV's amnesty records, his predecessor said Tuesday. 

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay pointed out that Calida looked into the amnesty records at a time when Trillanes was investigating him for alleged anomalous contracts. 

"That's a context here that places the Solicitor General and the entire institution in a very unusual and awkward light," he told ANC, adding that this is the first time that such has happened.

Trillanes, head of the Senate Civil Service and Government Reorganization panel, initiated a probe into the alleged conflict of interest in government contracts of Calida's security firm. 

Documents showed the security firm owned by Calida's wife Milagros bagged multimillion-peso contracts with several government agencies months after his appointment.

President Rodrigo Duterte has issued a proclamation nullifying Trillanes' amnesty because the senator allegedly failed to officially apply for one and because he supposedly did not admit his guilt. 

But Hilbay insists that Trillanes went through the whole process and met the requirements, which is evident in the amnesty certificate granted to him in 2011.

He fears that the President has put on the line the country's amnesty system and any ongoing peace process with the rebels and mutineers. 

"If they know that the President can now exercise power to cancel or revoke amnesty already given, then it is pointless to go into a peace negotiation with the government," he said.