Jose Calida

Calida doubles his wealth in office as highest-paid solicitor general

Lian Buan
Calida doubles his wealth in office as highest-paid solicitor general

SOLICITOR GENERAL. Jose Calida, solicitor general, defends keeping the Family Code during the same-sex marriage oral arguments in June 2018.

Rappler

Calida has a declared net worth of P73.4 million. While in office, he was able to acquire a condo in Davao City, more jewelries and more guns.
Calida doubles his wealth in office as highest-paid solicitor general

MANILA, Philippines – In his term as President Rodrigo Duterte’s Solicitor General, Davao lawyer Jose Calida doubled his wealth – from a P36.9-million net worth in 2017 to P73.4-million net worth in 2021, Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) obtained by Rappler show.

Calida declared in his 2021 SALN that as of December 31 last year, he owned P9.1 million worth of real properties and P64.3 million worth of personal properties.

Calida is the highest-paid solicitor general, landing him on the Top 2 of the list of highest-paid government officials – a spot which no solicitor general has claimed before. Calida’s government earnings were propelled by his millions in allowances, a long-running dispute between the Office of the Solicitor General and the Commission on Audit (COA).

COA had been insisting that Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) lawyers should not get an allowance that is more than half their annual salary. But Calida is able to get allowances even quadruple his basic salary.

Rappler obtained Calida’s 2017, 2019, and 2021 SALNs through the Freedom of Information (FOI) program. Documents show that since 2017, Calida was able to purchase a condominium unit.

His 2019 SALN shows Calida bought that year a P4.4-million condominium unit in Davao City, inclusive of parking. That increased Calida’s real properties worth to P9.126 million, including longtime properties in Davao City, his hometown, a residential house in Makati, and a condominium in Tagaytay City.

Calida’s personal properties went up from being worth P32.156 million in 2017 to P64.263 million in 2021. The main increase was his cash on hand and in bank – he had P22.27 million cash assets in 2017, which grew to P54.82 million in 2021.

Calida and his family owned a security firm that cornered hundreds of millions worth of government contracts. But after a scrutiny in 2018, Calida and his family divested in 2019 and sold almost all their shares to Dominic Edgard Angeles Cabangon (60% shares) and Benjamin del Villar Ramos (39.998% shares). Cabangon is chairman of the ALC media group that owns CNN Philippines, while Ramos is president of the television network franchise.

The OSG under Calida was used to go against perceived critics of the government – including priests, lawyers and media.

More jewelries and guns

In office, Calida was also able to acquire more jewelries, watches, and guns.

Calida’s jewelries and watches were worth P1.8 million in 2017, and the collection grew in worth to P2.3 million in 2021. His guns were worth P300,00 in 2017, then became worth P910,000 in 2021.

Calida maintained his zero liability all throughout.

Not included in his total net worth, but indicated in the SALNs, is the P3-million increase in the personal properties of his spouse and unmarried children.

The rest of the family declared P15.26 million in personal properties in 2017 and P18.7 million in 2021. The SALNs show the family was able to buy two cars in 2019 worth P500,000 each – a Toyota Innova and a Subaru. – with reports from Michael Bueza/Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.