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Aguirre on OSG bill: Possible OSG vs OSG scenario in courts

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It would be awkward if the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) faces itself in a lawsuit in court.

This is one of the reasons why Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has opposed the House bills proposing the abolishment of the Presidential Commission on Good Government and the Office of the Corporate Government Counsel (OGCC).

In his position paper sent to the House of Representatives, Aguirre said he “sees nothing wrong with the OSG, OGCC, and PCGG exiting independently of each other.”

Otherwise, Aguirre said there would be “a possible conflict of interests of client-agencies that may arise should the OSG represent the government exercising governmental and proprietary functions.”

He cited there have been “numerous cases wherein the OGCC and the OSG find themselves representing sides with conflicting interests.”

The OSG represents various courts, while, OGCC is the principal law office of all government owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs).

“If the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue), for instance, assesses a tax on a GOCC like the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) and the latter interposes as its defense that it is exempted from tax, this conflict can only be resolved by going to court and it be absurd, if both entities will be represented by the Solicitor General,” he said.