Solgen Jose Calida should be replaced — ex-CHR chair

Solgen Jose Calida should be replaced â ex-CHR chair
In this March 15, 2018 photo, Etta Rosales, former chairperson of the Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court, together with current chair Ray Paolo J. Santiago gives a statement at the Commission on Human Rights Office Thursday, March 15, 2018, following the announced withdrawal of the Philippine ratification of the Rome Statute.
The STAR / Michael Varcas

MANILA, Philippines — Former Human Rights Commissioner Etta Rosales said Tuesday that the government should consider replacing Solicitor General Jose Calida following another court loss against the Marcoses and their cronies at the Sandiganbayan.

Speaking at ANC’s “Early Edition,” Rosales, who is one of the victims of Martial Law, said the government “should look for a different solicitor general” after the prosecution again lost a P267-million wealth case against the Marcoses and their cronies.

The October 25 ruling came weeks after another court lose P1 billion worth of supposed stolen wealth.

“Under this Solgen specifically, walang mangyayari they will seek advice from him dahil talo sila. ‘Yan ang gusto ni solgen kasi kampi sya sa Marcoses,” she added.

(Under this solicitor general specifically, nothing will happen because they will seek advice from him because they lost. That is what the solgen wants because he is allied with the Marcoses.)

Calida: I’m not a Marcos loyalist

Calida is a known supporter of the Marcoses. He also campaigned for the late dictator’s son and namesake, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for the vice presidency in 2016.

Former Presidential Commission on Good Government Commissioner Ruben Carranza also earlier said that there was something “fundamentally wrong” with Calida’s alleged involvement in the decision.

Carranza said the PCGG, the agency tasked to go after Marcos loot, should exclude Calida for being a Marcos loyalist, which constitutes a conflict of interest.

RELATED: Ex-PCGG chief: Sandigan ruling on Marcos ill-gotten wealth lacks ‘historical context’

But Calida, reacting on Carranza’s remarks, said it was impossible for him to intervene in the P1.052 billion ill-gotten wealth case as litigation ended long before he sat as solicitor general.

In a statement October 12, he said: “I have never personally appeared as solicitor general in any case before the Sandiganbayan.”

READ: Calida denies hand in Marcos ruling

Calida also said he is not a “Marcos loyalist,” and that his loyalty belongs only to the Constitution and to the rule of law.”

PCGG: Look into why documents are missing

Rosales, meanwhile, said the PCGG may look into why the original documents relating to the wealth cases could not be presented before the court.

While she admitted that she does not know who are the current PCGG officials handling the cases, she said the commission may hold a probe why the documents are missing.

The court, on ruling on both cases involving Marcos wealth, noted that the prosecution presented merely photocopies of documents presented as evidence.

In August this year, the Sandiganbayan also dismissed a civil case against the Marcoses and 11 of their alleged cronies for lack of evidence and because the PCGG, as represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, merely presented photocopies of documents and failed to present key witnesses during the trial to authenticate their affidavits. — Kristine Joy Patag

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