Dispatch from Crame No. 377: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on Calida’s blatant sense of impunity


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The Duterte administration’s solution to corruption is to save the corrupt official and jail the investigator. In the most abhorrent case of a conflict of interest several times over, Solicitor General Jose Calida has a prominent role in foisting a warrantless arrest of Senator Trillanes.

Sen. Trillanes started a Senate investigation on Calida’s multi-million security agency contracts with government. In order to stop Trillanes from investigating his conflict of interest of entering into government contracts, Calida figured in another conflict of interest by mobilizing government resources – the OSG, Malacañang, the AFP, and the PNP – to concoct an outrageous proclamation ordering the arrest of Trillanes.

The norm among Duterte officials is to pilfer the government coffers to the outmost by using their government positions. Calida did not only excel in this, he raised it to an all new level. He defends his corruption by being indignant about the accusation, but without denying, and even proudly proclaiming, that the government contracts are his just share in the spoils of holding public office.

Not only has Calida managed to become the administration’s “legal goon”, as one noted columnist puts it, he has also become its proudest crook, unashamed of his thievery in broad daylight and confident in his impunity. He has definitely outclassed everyone else in government to become the role model of corruption in the Duterte administration.

Only the role model of corruption can be indignant about being called a thief while at the same time declaring that it is his right to corner government contracts. In the first place, that is what he is in power for, as well as his reward for acting as Duterte’s legal goon. He even petitioned the Supreme Court to declare that he is beyond investigation and that his government contracts are beyond public scrutiny. The government’s head lawyer fancies himself to be immune from the Republic’s laws.

Sobrang kapal ka na Calida. Ikaw na ang magnanakaw, ikaw pa ang mayabang. Inimbetuhan mo pa ng dahilan para ipaaresto ang nagiimbestiga sa iyo. Saan ba talaga kayo kumukuha ng kapal ng mukha?

It was almost impossible to imagine such shameless display of corruption in government, even basing on Philippine standards. Until, that is, Jose Calida came along. One can only wonder from what dark bowels of the earth creatures like him were spawned. ###

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