House minority bloc to support FOI bill with ‘right to reply’ provision
MANILA, Philippines — The House minority bloc will only support a Freedom of Information Bill that has the right of reply provision.
This was according to House minority leader Danilo Suarez who said in an interview with reporters on Wednesday that although their members were divided on the FOI Bill, what they agreed on was the need for a right of reply provision.
“Right to reply must be included in the provision. Si Erin [Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tanada III] is a very good friend…sabi ko sa kaniya nung tinanong niya ako, sa minority mixed tayo. Merong pabor merong hindi,” said Suarez.
“Ang hinihingi ko lang, be specific on the right to reply. That we should be given the right opportunity, right footage, right column on our right to reply and we will support it,” he added.
The FOI Bill remains in limbo after Eastern Samar Representative Ben Evardone adjourned the committee on public information without putting the consolidated version of the proposed measure to a vote.
This was despite urgings from many of the legislators present to just push through with the hearing even if it was past their schedule.
Tanada told reporters that he still hoped the FOI Bill would be brought up and tackled when the public information committee reconvenes on November 27.
He said that Evardone had placed the FOI Bill on ICU by delaying its hearings due to the lack of available conference rooms at the House.