Office of the Solicitor General of the Philippines
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|Office of the Solicitor General|
|Tanggapan ng Prokurador Heneral|
|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||Francis H. Jardeleza, Solicitor General|
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. It is an independent and autonomous office attached to the Department of Justice for budgetary purposes.
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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."
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.
The Solicitor General
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.
List of Attorney-General
|Name||Position||Date started||Date finished|
|Lebbeus R. Wifley||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
|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|
- Section 2 of Republic Act No. 9417
- Section 34, Book IV, Title III, Chapter 12, of the 1987 Administrative Code