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This clause clearly bans Calida’s stock ownership in VISAI.And even if he divests but his wife and children remain in the company, that still gives him an “indirect” financial interest.In fact Calida had resigned as chairman and president of Vigilant, Roque said.Roque also pointed out that no contract was ever struck between Calida’s firm and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG).Calida continued to own 60% of the company as of September 2016, according to Rappler based on Securities and Exchange Records.But, Roque said, “I don’t think mere ownership of stock certificates is prohibited by the Constitution.” Roque is right.In the end, Concepcion decided to resign while protesting he did. Roque is perhaps engaged in misdirection when he says Calida is not violating the Constitution.You see, Roque cites Article XI on the – which does contain nothing about divestment.

And the presidential palace says he does not need to divest. I guess they don’t make public officials like they used to?

And the fact that it is the Sol Gen involved makes the case doubly sad.

♦ ♦ ♦ The 1987 Constitution did not give any penalty to top Cabinet officials who violate the conflict of interest clause.

The case of Trade Secretary Concepcion showed that divestment was the method to cure any “conflict of interest”.

Note how, when confronted with the question whether or not he had divested properly from his companies, Concepcion did the honorable thing and resigned.

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