THE Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) yesterday defended the government’ decision to drop the settlement agreement allowing the distribution to martial law victims of $20 million seized assets of the Marcoses in the United States.
In a statement, the OSG confirmed that the government has decided to instead pursue its claim to all of the recovered properties of the Marcoses in the cases pending before the Sandiganbayan.
The OSG stressed the decision was approved by the Department of Justice and the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).
The OSG revealed that a case conference was held last March 11 by lawyers from DoJ, PCGG and OSG where the three agencies “unanimously agreed that, in the best interest of the Republic, it will no longer enter into the settlement agreement.”
”PCGG was tasked to inform the New York District Court of the matter through a letter dated March 16, 2019,” the OSG stressed.
The review of the agreement came after the Office of the Executive Secretary issued a memorandum last January 8 approving the request of the PCGG for authority to enter into a settlement agreement on the interpleader case pending at the New York District Court presided over by Judge Katherine Failla.
”However, the said Memorandum required that before the PCGG can enter into the settlement agreement, both the OSG and DOJ shall approve its terms,” read the statement.
In compliance with the requirement, the OSG said it reviewed the terms of the proposed settlement agreement.
”Unfortunately, the terms were found to be grossly disadvantageous to the government and not in accord with existing Philippine laws and jurisprudence. Pursuant to its mandate to protect the interest of the Republic of the Philippines, the OSG issued its disapproval in a letter dated January 23, 2019. Meanwhile, the OSG awaited the position of the DoJ concerning the matter,” it stressed.