Thursday, October 1, 2015

When may DOJ Sec. decline to render an opinion?

20 April 2012



"x x x.

In order for the Department to more faithfully fulfill its mandate and function as legal counsel for the government (Sections 1 to 3, Chapter 1, Title III, Book IV, Administrative Code of 1987) the Office of the Legal Staff - which is, in turn, mandated to, among others, assist the Secretary in the performance of his duties as Attorney General of the Philippines and as ex-officio legal adviser of government-owned or controlled corporations or enterprises and their subsidiaries, and prepare and finally act for and in behalf of the Secretary on all queries and/or requests for legal advice or guidance coming from private parties, and minor officials and employees of the government (Section 7, Chapter 2) - is hereby advised that, henceforth, the Department shall retain only the following grounds for declining to render opinions:

1. Issues posed have already been passed upon by the courts, Provided that the Department shall not decline rendering an opinion where, although related matters have already been passed upon by the courts, what is being sought from the Department is, for instance, an opinion on the implications of the courts' decision, and other similar matters;

2. Issues that are subjudice;

3. Issues the resolution of which properly pertains to the prosecuting officers;

4. Issues raised by subordinate officials of other offices or agencies, Provided that the Department shall not decline rendering an opinion where there exists exceptional reasons to do so, such as the issue/s raised is/are of national interest or importance, or the subordinate official has raised other sufficient justification as to why his/her request for advice/opinion ought to be granted, including absence of other adequate recourse or remedy, etc.;

5. Issues which are already moot and academic;

6. Issues that do not involve specific legal issues but questions of facts or mixed questions of fact and law; and

7. Issues which are purely hypothetical and speculative.

x x x."