Calida: I'll file charges against those maligning, libeling me
MANILA, Philippines – Solicitor General Jose Calida on Thursday, May 31, threatened to file charges against people who are “maligning, slandering, and libeling” him.
Calida made the threat in an interview on CNN Philippines’ The Source on Thursday, which tackled his security firm's government contracts worth at least P261.39 million – all awarded to Vigilant Investigative and Security Agency, Incorporated, after he became solicitor general. (READ: Calida: No conflict of interest in gov’t contracts even if I did not divest)
Calida did not specify the potential subject of the charges, but alluded to at least one person – Jocelyn Acosta, who had filed the complaint against him before the Office of the Ombudsman.
When asked if he would file charges against Acosta, Calida said: “Against those who are maligning me, slandering me, libeling me. Yes, I will.”
Calida did not expound on other people he planned to drag to court.
In her complaint against Calida, Acosta also alleged that Calida had an extra-marital affair with an intern at the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), and that he allegedly diverted P1.8 million of OSG funds to his rumoured girlfriend.
Calida called this a “big fat lie.”
“That is not true. I don’t know where she got that amount. In other words, they are now fabricating charges against me, they want to destroy my family, and I will not forgive them for that. There will be a day of reckoning,” he said.
Calida said the “attacks” against him are just vengeful moves after he successfully ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
He said that the resignation calls of opposition senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan are “hogwash.”
“Had I lost the case, she (Hontiveros) would not attack me like this,” he said.
Asked if he would resign over the allegations against him, Calida said: “No, why should I? Because of the attacks against me? I've been a lawyer since 1974, I can handle all attacks. The question is, can they handle my counterattack?”
Calida also said Acosta’s links to the Liberal Party makes the latter’s motivation suspect. Acosta is part of The Silent Majority group which supported the LP ticket in the 2016 elections.
Acosta is a vocal supporter of Sereno. The ousted chief justice had made the rounds saying her quo warranto ouster has empowered Calida to remove any member of the Supreme Court as he wished.
Supreme Court justices who voted against the quo warranto petition and other lawyers, including Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, a former justice secretary, had also warned against a more powerful Solicitor General following the SC ruling against Sereno. (READ: SolGen wields 'quo warranto sword of Damocles' after Sereno ouster)
“I was inspired when the President said why should he fire me? Because of that inspiration, maybe I’ll consider some more quo warrantos to be filed,” Calida said, but later clarified it was a joke. – Rappler.com