SolGen faces criminal, administrative charges at the Ombudsman

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Solicitor General Jose Calida. (FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 10) — The government's top lawyer is facing criminal and administrative charges at the Ombudsman for seeking the ouster of Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno through a quo warranto petition.

The complaint was filed on Thursday by a private citizen, a certain Jocelyn Marie Acosta, who accused Solicitor General Jose Calida of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials.

Acosta, a Sereno supporter, said Calida violated the Constitution with the petition he filed based on Sereno's failure to file her Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) before she applied for the Chief Justice post in 2012.

Acosta had earlier asked Calida to also file a quo warranto case on the same ground against Sereno's critic, Associate Justice Teresita Leonardo-de Castro. The Solicitor General denied the plea.

Under the charter, the Chief Justice can only be unseated through impeachment.

Acosta also accused Calida of being unethical for his bias for the family of former President Ferdinand Marcos family based on the claims of a former official of the Philippine Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

"(Calida) being unabashedly pro-Marcos, his declared intention to dissolve the PCGG and usurp its functions, plus the fact that the PCGG does in fact currently refuses to perform its mandate of running after Marcos' ill-gotten wealth, all point to the same conclusion: (Calida) is not true to his oath as Solicitor General," she added.

In addition, Acosta charged that Calida was involved in malversation for using public funds for his personal benefit, citing news reports that the Solicitor General spent some ₱1.8 million of government money his 22-year old intern.

The complainant also said Calida still had a 60 percent share in a company that provides security guards in at least four government agencies in a "clear conflict of interest" case.

CNN Philippines' Chad de Guzman and AC Nicholls contributed to this report.