President Rodrigo Duterte’s Solicitor General (SolGen) Jose Calida is twice as wealthy after being appointed as the government’s lawyer, from a modest net worth of P36.9 million in 2017 to P73.4 million in 2021, according to his declared Statements of Assets Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) obtained by Rappler.
Through the Freedom of Information (FOI) program, Rappler was able to obtain Calida’s SALNs in 2017, 2019, and 2021.
Calida, the highest-paid SolGen in recent memory, is also the number two highest-paid government official, just behind Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor and incoming Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno, according to the Commission on Audit’s (COA) 2020 report on salaries and allowances of government officials.
In stark contrast to COA’s recommendation that government officials should not receive allowances more than half of their annual salaries, Calida was able to get away with it, even receiving allowances quadruple his basic salary.
Accumulation of wealth
Calida’s 2019 SALN, for instance, shows that he was able to buy in the same year a P4.4-million condominium unit in Davao City, increasing the worth of his properties to P9.126 million pesos.
In addition to this, his personal properties went up to P64.263 million in 2021 from P32.156 in 2017, after he declared that he had a total of P22.27 million in cash assets in 2017, growing to P54.82 million last year.
Calida was also able to buy more jewelry and watches, whose combined worth is P1.8 million in 2017, and grew to P2.3 million in 2021. On the other hand, his guns, initially worth P300,000 in 2017, went up to P910,000 in 2021.
Meanwhile, his family’s security firm, which gets a lot of government contracts worth millions, was divested in 2019 and sold 60% of the shares of the company to Dominic Edgar Angeles Cabangon and Benjamin del Villar Ramos. Cabangon is a media mogul that owns CNN Philippines, while Ramos is the president of the television network’s franchise.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments in politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. The views expressed are his own.
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