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Drilon doubts abolishing PCGG and OGCC to strengthen SolGen office

/ 04:12 PM January 31, 2018

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon has expressed doubts the proposal to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC) and transferring their powers to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) would strengthen the OSG.

In a statement on Wednesday, Drilon stressed the need to strengthen the OSG as he expressed alarm over the “staggering” 730,000 cases pending before the agency.

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But Drilon, a former justice secretary, doubted that abolishing PCGG and OGCC and transferring their functions to OSG would serve this purpose.

“We agree on streamlining and right-sizing as a matter policy but we should look at the efficiency. The OSG has its both hands full,” Drilon said.

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The Minority Leader said the government and Congress should take a second look at the proposals to abolish the PCGG and OGCC.

At present, Drilon said there are about 730,000 cases pending before the OSG, of which 374,424 are active.

He estimates that with this number, each of the 240 lawyers in the OSG would have to attend to about 1,400 cases. The OSG has 390 authorized plantilla positions but has yet to fill the vacancies, he said.

“I can’t imagine a lawyer handling 1,400 cases,” Drilon said. “The efficiency and batting average of the OSG would suffer if we do not address it.”

“Should we burden the OSG even more by giving it more responsibilities than what it could handle, because it is obvious the agency is overwhelmed and understaffed?” Drilon asked.

“I doubt that transferring the functions of the PCGG and OGCC to the OSG would solve the problem,” he added.

Instead, Drilon said the functions of the OSG should be reviewed. He cited in particular the OSG’s mandate to intervene in marital cases.

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He said the government’s primary legal defender is also tasked to represent the state’s interest in preserving the institution of marriage.

Drilon said that legislation should remove the burden of intervening in marital cases from the OSG and allow it “to focus on more critical cases involving the government.”

The senator likewise said he would submit a proposal to remove from the OSG the burden of intervening in marital cases, leaving the responsibility to the judiciary.

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TAGS: Franklin Drilon, marriage institution, Office of the Solicitor General, Presidential Commission on Good Government
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