Office of the Solicitor General of the Philippines

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Office of the Solicitor General
Tanggapan ng Prokurador Heneral
OSGlogo.jpg
Department overview
Formed June 6, 1901
Headquarters OSG Building, 134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila
Motto Integrity in advocacy. Social justice in advocacy.
Department executive Vacant, Solicitor General
Website www.osg.gov.ph

The Office of the Solicitor General (Filipino: Tanggapan ng Prokurador Heneral) is the law firm of the Republic of the Philippines. It is tasked to represent the People of the Philippines, the Philippine Government, its Agencies and Instrumentalities, Officials and Agents (especially before appellate courts) in any litigation or matter requiring the services of a lawyer.[1] It is an independent and autonomous office attached to the Department of Justice for budgetary purposes.[2]

History[edit]

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"Act No. 136 dated June 11, 1901, which became effective on June 6, 1901, created the position now occupied by the Solicitor General. Under Section 40 of this Act, the Attorney General, as head of the Bureau of Justice, was vested with the powers and functions of today's Solicitor General. At the time, the Solicitor General was second only to the Attorney General in the office the former would eventually head. Appropriately, Section 41 of the Act required an "officer learned in the law" to assist the Attorney General. This law specifically provided that "it should be the special duty of the Solicitor General to conduct and argue suits and appeals in the Supreme Court, in which the Philippine Government is interested."

Meanwhile, a few months after the Bureau of Justice was created, Act No. 222 was passed, establishing the Department of Finance and Justice. The Bureau of Justice was placed under the supervision of a new department. Act No. 2666 would later divide the department into a Department of Justice and a Department of Finance. Under this law, the Attorney General and Solicitor General continued to represent the Government in the Supreme Court and lower courts.

Act No. 4007 which was enacted in 1932 abolished the position of Attorney General. His functions were taken over by the Secretary of Justice. The Act also named the Solicitor General as the head of the Bureau of Justice. The Assistant Solicitor General, a position created by Act No. 683 of 1903, became second in command of the Bureau.

As a result of the rapidly burgeoning number of cases involving the Government, the Solicitor General after independence was constrained to concentrate on advocacy and court appearances. The functions which the Bureau of Justice used to have were gradually transferred to newly created offices and divisions of the Department of Justice.

Executive Order No. 94 of 1947 renamed the Bureau of Justice as the Office of the Solicitor General. Subsequently, the legislature passed R. A. No. 335 in 1948 to confirm this change and to provide for a First Assistant Solicitor General who would be the second highest official in the Office.

A succession of laws relieved the Office of the Solicitor General of some of its burdens. Section 1660 of the old Administrative Code previously provided that the head of the Bureau of Justice "shall have general supervision and control over provincial and city fiscals (now prosecutors) and attorneys and over other prosecuting officer throughout the Philippines." The Office of Special Prosecutors, which the Solicitor General formerly headed, was later converted into a Division of Special Attorneys by R.A. No. 311 of 1948. The Office of the Government Corporate Counsel, which was headed by the Solicitor General under Executive Order No. 392 of 1950, became a separate office in the Department of Justice by virtue of R.A. No. 2327.

From a motley staff of one Solicitor General, an Assistant Solicitor General and a handful of assistant attorneys in the 1900s, the Office of the Solicitor General has grown throughout the years. In accordance with E.O No. 292, the Administrative Code of 1987, the Solicitor General was assisted by fifteen Assistant Solicitors General and more than a hundred Solicitors and Associate Solicitors, who are divided into fifteen divisions. In 2006, with the passing of Republic Act 9417 or the OSG Law, the Office has expanded to thirty (30) legal divisions with a corresponding increase in the general and administrative support personnel and provision for ample office space. Each lawyer at the OSG handles an average of 800 cases at any given time. Aside from the paper chase involved in appealed cases and original petitions before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals, a Solicitor General or Associate Solicitor has to match wits with the best lawyers of the country in countless trials."[3]

Organizational structure[edit]

Under Republic Act No. 9417, there shall be at least thirty (30) legal divisions in the Office of the Solicitor General. Each division, permanently headed by an Assistant Solicitor General, shall consist of ten (10) lawyers and such other personnel as may be necessary for the office to effectively carry out its functions.[4][5]

The Solicitor General[edit]

The Solicitor General of the Philippines is the principal law officer and legal defender of the Government. He shall have the authority and responsibility for the exercise of the Office's mandate and for the discharge of its duties and functions, and shall have supervision and control over the Office and its constituent units.[6]

List of Attorney-General[edit]

Name Position Date started Date finished
Lebbeus R. Wilfley Attorney General June 15, 1901 July 16, 1906
Gregorio S. Araneta Attorney General July 17, 1906 July 1, 1908
Ignacio B. Villamor Attorney General 1908 1914
Ramon Avanceña Attorney General 1914 1917
Quintin B. Paredes Attorney General 1917 1920
Felecisimo R. Feria Attorney General 1920 1920
Pedro T. Tuazon Attorney General 1921 1921
Antonio O. Villareal Attorney General 1921 1925
Alex A. Reyes Attorney General 1925 1927
Delfin J. Jaranilla Attorney General 1927 1932

List of Solicitors General[edit]

Name Position Date started Date finished
Gregorio S. Araneta Solicitor General June 15, 1901 July 16, 1906
Ignacio B. Villamor Solicitor General July 17, 1906 July 1, 1908
George R. Harvey Solicitor General 1908 1914
Rafael Corpus Solicitor General 1914 1916
César C. Bengzon Solicitor General 1932 1934
Serafin P. Hilado Solicitor General 1934 1936
Pedro T. Tuazon Solicitor General 1936 1938
Roman Ozaeta Solicitor General 1938 1940
Sixto dela Costa Solicitor General 1941 1945
Lorenzo M. Tañada Solicitor General 1945 1947
Manuel Lim Solicitor General 1947 1948
Felix Angelo Bautista Solicitor General 1948 1950
Pompeyo Diaz Solicitor General 1950 1952
Juan R. Liwag Solicitor General 1952 1954
Querube C. Makalintal Solicitor General 1954 1954
Ambrosio B. Padilla Solicitor General 1954 1957
Guillermo E. Torres Acting Solicitor General 1957 1958
Edilberto Barot Solicitor General 1958 1961
Arturo A. Alafriz Solicitor General 1961 1966
Antonio P. Barredo Solicitor General 1966 1968
Felix V. Makasiar Solicitor General 1968 1970
Felix Q. Antonio Solicitor General 1970 1972
Estelito P. Mendoza Solicitor General 1972 1986
Sedfrey A. Ordoñez Solicitor General 1986 1987
Francisco Corzas Chávez Solicitor General 1987 1992
Ramon S. Desuasido Solicitor General February 6, 1992 July 5, 1992
Eduardo G. Montenegro Acting Solicitor General July 6, 1992 August 10, 1992
Raul I. Goco Solicitor General August 11, 1992 September 22, 1996
Silvestre H. Bello III Solicitor General September 23, 1996 February 3, 1998
Romeo C. dela Cruz Acting Solicitor General February 4, 1998 February 9, 1998
Romeo C. dela Cruz Solicitor General February 10, 1998 June 8, 1998
Silvestre H. Bello III Solicitor General June 9, 1998 June 30, 1998
Ricardo P. Galvez Solicitor General July 1, 1998 February 15, 2001
Simeon V. Marcelo Solicitor General February 16, 2001 October 16, 2002
Carlos N. Ortega Acting Solicitor General May 29, 2002 June 7, 2002
Carlos N. Ortega Acting Solicitor General October 21, 2002 November 10, 2002
Alfredo L. Benipayo Solicitor General October 17, 2002 March 31, 2006
Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura Solicitor General April 3, 2006 February 11, 2007
Agnes VST Devanadera Solicitor General March 2, 2007 January 2010
Alberto C. Agra Acting Solicitor General January 8, 2010 June 30, 2010
Jose Anselmo I. Cadiz Solicitor General July 29, 2010 February 3, 2012
Francis H. Jardeleza Solicitor General February 6, 2012 August 19, 2014
Florin Hilbay Acting Solicitor General August 28, 2014

References[edit]

External links[edit]