|Tanggapan ng Taga-usig Panlahat|
|Formed||June 6, 1901|
|Headquarters||OSG Building, 134 Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City, Metro Manila|
|Motto||Integrity in advocacy. Social justice through advocacy.|
The Office of the Solicitor General of the Philippines (Filipino: Tanggapan ng Taga-usig Panlahat), formerly known as the Bureau of Justice, is an independent and autonomous office attached to the Department of Justice.
The Office of the Solicitor General is the "law firm" of the Republic of the Philippines. The Solicitor General is the principal law officer and legal defender of the Republic of the Philippines. 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. He also determines the legal position that the government will take in the courts and argues in virtually every case in which the government is a party. It is tasked to represent the people of the Philippines, the Philippine government, its agencies, instrumentalities, officials, and agents in any litigation, proceeding, or investigation before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. When authorized by the President, he shall also represent government owned or controlled corporations.
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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."
The Office of the Solicitor General has the following specific powers and functions:
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. Lawyers in the OSG hold the following ranks: Senior State Solicitor, State Solicitor II, State Solicitor I, Associate Solicitor III, Associate Solicitor II, and Associate Solicitor I. The law likewise dictates that the Solicitor General shall have a cabinet rank and the same qualifications for appointment, rank, prerogatives, salaries, allowances, benefits and privileges as the Presiding Justice of the Court of Appeals; an Assistant Solicitor General, those of an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals.
The qualifications for appointment, rank, prerogatives, salaries, and privileges of Solicitors shall be the same as judges, specified as follows:
|Name||Position||Term of Office|
|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||July 1, 1908-June 30, 1914|
|Ramon Avanceña||Attorney General||July 1, 1914-March 1, 1917|
|Quintin B. Paredes||Attorney General||July 1, 1918-June 30, 1920|
|Felecisimo R. Feria||Attorney General||September 29, 1920-December 31, 1920|
|Pedro T. Tuazon||Attorney General||January 1, 1921-June 30, 1921|
|Antonio O. Villareal||Attorney General||July 1, 1921-November 12, 1925|
|Alex A. Reyes||Attorney General||November 12, 1925-June 30, 1927|
|Delfin J. Jaranilla||Attorney General||July 1, 1927-June 30, 1932|
|Name||Position||Term of Office|
|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||July 1, 1908-June 30, 1914|
|Rafael Corpus||Solicitor General||July 1, 1914-December 31, 1916|
|Quintin B. Paredes||Solicitor General||March 1, 1917-June 30, 1918|
|César Fernando C. Bengzon||Solicitor General||July 1, 1932-June 30, 1934|
|Serafin P. Hilado||Solicitor General||July 1, 1934-June 30, 1936|
|Pedro T. Tuazon||Solicitor General||July 1, 1936-August 17, 1938|
|Roman Ozaeta||Solicitor General||August 17, 1938-June 30, 1940|
|Sixto dela Costa||Solicitor General||July 1, 1941-June 30, 1945|
|Lorenzo M. Tañada||Solicitor General||July 1, 1945-December 30, 1947|
|Manuel Lim||Solicitor General||December 30, 1947-June 30, 1948|
|Felix Angelo Bautista||Solicitor General||July 1, 1948-October 20, 1950|
|Pompeyo Diaz||Solicitor General||October 20, 1950-November 10, 1952|
|Juan R. Liwag||Solicitor General||November 10, 1952-February 9, 1954|
|Querube C. Makalintal||Solicitor General||February 9, 1954-August 31, 1954|
|Ambrosio B. Padilla||Solicitor General||September 1, 1954-December 30, 1957|
|Guillermo E. Torres||Acting Solicitor General||December 30, 1957-June 30, 1958|
|Edilberto Barot||Solicitor General||July 1, 1958-June 30, 1961|
|Arturo A. Alafriz||Solicitor General||July 1, 1961-January 24, 1966|
|Antonio P. Barredo||Solicitor General||January 24, 1966-June 30, 1968|
|Felix V. Makasiar||Solicitor General||July 1, 1968-February 8, 1970|
|Felix Q. Antonio||Solicitor General||February 9, 1970 -June 30, 1972|
|Estelito P. Mendoza||Solicitor General||July 1, 1972-February 25, 1986|
|Sedfrey A. Ordoñez||Solicitor General||February 25, 1986-March 4, 1987|
|Frank C. Chavez||Solicitor General||March 5, 1987-February 25, 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. de la Cruz||Acting Solicitor General||February 4, 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 13, 2002-June 7, 2002; 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 15, 2010|
|Alberto C. Agra||Acting Solicitor General||January 16, 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 T. Hilbay||Acting Solicitor General||August 20, 2014-June 18, 2015|
|Solicitor General||June 19, 2015-June 30, 2016|
|Jose Calida||Solicitor General||June 30, 2016-present|