FAST FACTS: The Office of the Solicitor General and its roles

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – As the government's chief counsel, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) has figured in many high-profile cases.

Recently, the OSG is moving to overturn the conviction of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles for the serious illegal detention of her cousin, Benhur Luy. (FACT CHECK: Where should the Solicitor General stand in Napoles' case?)

In the past, the Solicitor General took part in the citizenship case of Senator Grace Poe, in the Marcos burial case, and in the ongoing Torre de Manila condominium case, all of which are heard in the Supreme Court.

What exactly is the role of the OSG?

Mandate

The OSG is an independent and autonomous body attached to the Department of Justice. It is headed by the Solicitor General.

Similar to how a lawyer represents a person in court and gives advice on legal matters, the Office of the Solicitor General represents "the People of the Philippines, the Philippine Government, its Agencies and Instrumentalities, Officials and Agents" before SC and the Court of Appeals, according to its website.

The current Solicitor General is Jose Calida, who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte

The OSG currently holds office in Legaspi Village, Makati City.

SOLGEN. Solicitor General Jose Calida (R) joins the oral arguments in the Supreme Court on the petitions of Senator Leila De Lima versus Muntinlupa Judge Juanita Guerrero to nullify the drug cases against the detained senator and the arrest order by the Muntinlupa court.

SOLGEN. Solicitor General Jose Calida (R) joins the oral arguments in the Supreme Court on the petitions of Senator Leila De Lima versus Muntinlupa Judge Juanita Guerrero to nullify the drug cases against the detained senator and the arrest order by the Muntinlupa court.

The mandate of the Office of the Solicitor General can be found in Book 4, Title III, Chapter 12 of the 1987 Administrative Code. In summary, it has the following official powers and functions:

History

The position was created in 1901 to assist the Attorney General, who headed the Bureau of Justice. Lebbeus Wilfey served as the country’s first Solicitor General.

The Attorney General position was abolished in 1932 and its functions were assigned to the Secretary of Justice. The Solicitor General subsequently became head of the Bureau of Justice.

After some of its functions were transferred to the Department of Justice, the Bureau became the Office of the Solicitor General in 1947.

A list of cases that involved the OSG can be found here. – Rappler.com