MANILA- Senator Richard Gordon urged Senator Antonio Trillanes IV Tuesday to bring his allegations against the government's top lawyer to the Ombudsman.
Gordon's advice came after Trillanes asked the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, which the former chairs, to investigate the alleged conflict of interest over the P358.33 million worth of government contracts bagged by a security agency owned by Solicitor General Jose Calida's family.
“Sabi naman niya (Trillanes) eh malakas ebidensya niya eh. 'Di i-file na lang niya sa Ombudsman,” Gordon told reporters.
(He said he has strong evidence, then he can just take it up with the Ombudsman.)
“I know he’s fighting for his political survival and I understand Senator Trillanes," he added.
Gordon, however, clarified that his committee's refusal to take up Trillanes' request was nothing personal and that the panel was just swamped with several other pending matters.
In a privilege speech Tuesday, Trillanes alleged that Calida did not divest from his shares from his family's Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency Inc. (VISAI) after he was appointed Solicitor General in June 2016.
The opposition senator presented documents that supposedly showed that Calida violated a law that prohibits government officials from engaging in businesses in conflict with their current posts.
Trillanes, chair of the Senate committee on civil service, initiated an investigation into the Calida firm's government contracts on Sept. 4, the same day President Rodrigo Duterte's proclamation voiding his amnesty was made public.
The lawmaker on Tuesday called on Gordon's committee to undertake a separate investigation, saying he had been sidetracked by matters surrounding his amnesty.
Duterte's proclamation revived criminal charges filed against Trillanes for leading uprisings against government in 2003 and 2007.
He was arrested last week on rebellion charges for the 2007 Manila Peninsula siege and made bail within the same day.
The former Navy officer just returned home on Saturday after staying in the Senate for 25 days as he faced possible arrest.