‘Expanded powers’ of OSG a ‘gift’ from House–Lagman
The House of Representatives is “gifting” Solicitor General Jose Calida with “unwarranted expanded powers” through the passage of House Bill 7376, an opposition lawmaker warned on Wednesday.
Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel Lagman issued the statement on Wednesday following former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno’s ouster through a quo warranto petition and the House’s passage on final reading of House Bill 7376, which seeks to abolish the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel (OGCC).
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed the quo warranto petition, which questioned Sereno’s qualifications as the top magistrate, while HB 7376 transfers the powers and functions of the PCGG and OGCC to the OSG.
“As if causing the removal of the Chief Justice through an irregular quo warranto petition is not enough arrogation of power by Solicitor General Jose Calida, the House of Representatives still gifted him with more extensive and expanded powers by approving on final reading yesterday House Bill No. 7376,” Lagman said in a statement.
Under HB 7376, which was approved by 162 to 10 votes, the Solicitor General will exercise jurisdiction over the destiny of the remaining Marcos ill-gotten wealth.
“Calida is a known Marcos ally like President Duterte,” Lagman pointed out.
The PCGG was created under Executive Order No. 1 dated February 28, 1986 issued by the late President Corazon Aquino for the recovery of hidden wealth of the Marcos family and their alleged cohorts.
Lagman, leader of the House “Magnificent Seven” opposition group, was among the 10 who rejected the bill. /jpv
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