OSG asks Sandigan to accept late comment on Marcos crony’s civil case
MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has filed a motion asking Sandiganbayan to accept their comment on a civil case involving a Marcos crony despite being over a week late.
According to the February 20 motion from OSG, headed by Solicitor General Jose Calida, the order from the anti-graft court’s Second Division was received last January 21 but was only forwarded to the Solicitors’ offices only on February 14.
Sandiganbayan required the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), which the OSG represents, to submit its comments 10 days after the receipt of the order — which means that OSG should have filed its comment by February 4.
“Unfortunately, however, said Order was routed to the undersigned Solicitor only on February 14, 2020, well beyond the 10-day period required by the Honorable Court as the same was inadvertently in the other case file by his secretary,” OSG said in its motion.
“Thus, the undersigned Solicitor wasted no time in preparing the required comment the moment the subject Order was routed to him,” the OSG added.
The anti-graft court’s order for OSG to comment was about the motion for reconsideration filed by the family of accused spouses Rebecco Panlilio and Erlinda Panlilio, on the demurrer to evidence that has already been rejected.
The couple has been accused of acting as former president Ferdinand Marcos’ cronies and dummies, supposedly benefitting from loans granted to eight of their companies when the dictator was still in power. Actual damages have yet to be identified by the court, but moral and exemplary damages reach up to P51 billion.
The OSG has grabbed headlines as of late, after Calida filed a quo warranto petition before the Supreme Court (SC) against network giant ABS-CBN last February 10 for allegedly hiding foreign ownership behind a corporate veil, and for profitting from a free television scheme through pay-per-view movies.
After the quo warranto petition drew criticisms for supposedly being used to shut down the media company, which President Rodrgo Duterte has criticized for being biased, the OSG asked SC to place a gag order on the issue to prevent parties from discussing the issue.
The OSG said that it would correct errors to avoid another repetition of the incident.
“Given the foregoing and in the interest of substantial justice, undersigned respectfully pray for the admission of the attached comment with a commitment that remedial measures will be undertaken to avoid repetition of the same,” the OSG pleaded.
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