UP law prof named solicitor general
Delon Porcalla, Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) - August 28, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino has appointed University of the Philippines law professor and 2000 Bar topnotcher Florin Hilbay as solicitor general in place of Francis Jardeleza, who was named associate justice of the Supreme Court (SC) last week.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda yesterday confirmed to Palace reporters the appointment of 40-year-old Hilbay who, along with Jardeleza, defended the government’s stand on the petition filed against the Reproductive Health Law at the SC last year.

Hilbay was appointed on an acting capacity because he still needs a few months to fulfill the required 15-year law practice for the post. The administration code allows for appointment of executive officials on an acting capacity. After five months, he would be re-appointed on a permanent capacity, according to SC insiders.

Prior to his appointment, Hilbay was a senior state solicitor.

He obtained his economics degree from the University of Santo Tomas in 1995, his law degree from UP in 1999 and his master of laws degree from the Yale Law School in 2005.

Hilbay teaches constitutional law at UP. In the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), he is the principal handling lawyer for the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program, Priority Development Assistance Fund, Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement and Bangsamoro cases.

Prior to joining the OSG, Hilbay was director of the Institute of Government and Law Reform of the UP Law Center.

He was also vice-chair of Bantay Katarungan, an organization led by former Senate president Jovito Salonga. At Bantay Katarungan, he served as co-counsel for then Akbayan party-list Rep. Etta Rosales before the SC in a case involving public access to information regarding nominees of party-list organizations.

During the previous administration, Hilbay helped lead Bantay Katarungan in filing before the Office of the Ombudsman criminal complaints against former Commission on Elections chairman Benjamin Abalos and other officials involved in the botched Mega Pacific automation contract, and against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo for corruption issues and other scandals that plagued her administration.

“I know Hilbay to be a really competent senior solicitor. He was of big help to former Solicitor General Jardeleza in defending government’s cases. So we welcome him as member of the Department of Justice,” said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who received Hilbay’s appointment papers.

De Lima said she also believes that Hilbay is very qualified for the post since he is “a very brilliant lawyer and a good academician.”

AT BANTAY KATARUNGAN BANTAY KATARUNGAN BENJAMIN ABALOS DE LIMA DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE DISBURSEMENT ACCELERATION PROGRAM EDWIN LACIERDA ENHANCED DEFENSE COOPERATION AGREEMENT AND BANGSAMORO HILBAY LAW
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