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2 more senators back FOI bill

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Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Loren Legarda

Two more senators on Tuesday sponsored the Senate’s version of the Freedom of information (FOI) bill and no questions were raised. But Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III moved to suspend consideration of the bill to await more inquiries from the lawmakers.

Senators Loren Legarda and Alan Peter Cayetano  delivered their cosponsorship speeches, joining Gregorio Honasan, Antonio Trillanes and Franklin Drilon as sponsors of the measure.

More time

Cayetano expressed optimism that it wouldn’t take long before the FOI bill is passed “because nobody is against it in the Senate.”

But Sotto said he held back asking the chamber to close the period of interpellation—a move that would have pushed Senate Bill No. 3208 closer to approval—saying “some senators” wanted more time to study the measure further.

“I would have wanted to move for the adoption and the closure of the period of interpellation but I am informed by some members of the Senate that they would wish to be given some time to go over the  proposed measure,” Sotto said in the plenary.

“They will inform (the body) quickly when they are ready,” he added before moving that the Senate suspend consideration of the bill formally titled “An Act Fortifying the People’s Right of Ownership Over Information Held by the People’s Government.”

It has been months since the Senate committee on public information, chaired by Sen. Gregorio Honasan II, came up with a committee report on the FOI bill.

Best Christmas gift

“I ask all of our colleagues to help in passing this bill. This will be our best Christmas gift to our people, a freedom of information act,” Cayetano said.

Legarda said she acknowledges “that there are certain information that must be kept confidential especially that which may compromise the nation’s security, jeopardize negotiations or diplomatic relations with other nations, and intrude privacy or endanger the life and safety of an individual.”

“We have covered these exceptions, and if such may cause the denial of access to information, the agency concerned is required to make the appropriate explanation,” Legarda said in her cosponsorship.

“We have to remain faithful to the maxim that ‘a public office is a public trust.’ Honesty, transparency and accountability must always be upheld to gain back the people’s confidence and faith in the bureaucracy. Given the tremendous import of this measure in securing the trust of the Filipino people in their government, I hope that this august chamber shall pass this in the swiftest possible time,” she added.

Right of reply

Freedom of information is part of the Bill of Rights in the 1987 Constitution. However, it needs an implementing law. For the past quarter of a century, Congress has failed to pass this implementing law.

In the House of Representatives, some representatives suggested that the people’s right to information be conditioned on a so-called right-of-reply —which would bill media for equal space should any criticism against politicians, among others, be published or aired.


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Tags: Alan Peter Cayetano , FOI Bill , Legislation , Loren Legarda , Senate


  • tata_boy

    inutil talaga itong si Sotto, hanggang eat-bulaga lang talaga siya.

    • Chestosterone

      Comedyante talaga forever! :) hahaha

    • Isha Carandang

      Eh mas inutil ka naman sa inaasal mo! :P buti pa nga si Sen. Sotto may pinaglalaban ikaw? ano? walang modo!

      • pinoy_abroad2012

        MASARAP BA BIGOTE NI SOTTO Isha? Tanong lang he he he he.

  • miiimiiiiiing

    ….umatake na naman itong si tito o…sige ka, matitira ka na naman ng taongbayan niyan at magdomnio effect na naman sayo…sus….miiiimmmiiing…..

    • joegaga

      hahaha! Someone please stop him from releasing statements. Mapagtatawanan na naman siya niyan. tsk!

    • ddano

       This guy is always on the wrong side of the fence.

      • Isha Carandang

        mas wrong side ang utak mo! Kung walang masabi na makakatulong wag magsalita ng ikakasira ng kapwa!

    • sigelangbro

      yaw kasi manahimik nalang e.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/IJ6ZCEYBEDVY6G4EML2NMQ2NBI Donita

      Everytime magsalita cya yumayanig yung country naten. :p Nagskip nako nung part niya, di ko nlang binasa para ala q masabi. .

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/QKHIE3TMZOV3NENGG4C2RZ73QE Carlo

      anong yun miiiimmiiiing??

    • Isha Carandang

      Sus! Dyan nmn kayo magaling ang manira ng tao! Gumawa ng mabuti di mamahamak ng kapwa! kahit anong pigil ninto kei Sen. Sotto di xa patitibag sa mga katulad ninyo!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XLACB4GXPXJF7LGJ5BNETUYOAU John Michael

    Glad that 2 more senators support this bill. If you think about, sobrang beneficial ng bill na ito sa country natin, provided na paulido na ito bago nila ipasa. Kudos to Cayetano and Legarda :)

  • joegaga

    “We have to remain faithful to the maxim that ‘a public office is a public trust.”

    Well said, miss senator.. True. This bill will make us trust the government again. There’s no need to push this back and needs to be passed immediately. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/VOIMRXSRHLDTXGHVZEJH5YR6ZM Alvin

      Si sir aquino nalang ata nga hinhintay e.

  • zeroko

    Nag gimmick na naman itong artista. Sooner or later, the FOI will be thrown to the garbage just like before. Remember, PNoy, the prime mover will express his preference and everyone in the Senate would know better by towing the line, otherwise, their chance of being re-elected would be at risk. “Moro-moro lang ito.” 

    Cayatano who has several relatives and particularly his sister who is also in the Senate must be playing a “DIRTY” joke on the electorates.

  • sigelangbro

    mukha ngang wala naman against dito sa bill na ito so malamang maipasa ito agad

    • boypalaban

       meron…yung marlou wang na nagkomento doon sa taas…

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/IJ6ZCEYBEDVY6G4EML2NMQ2NBI Donita

    Ngaun q lang talaga nagets yung FOI & I really like it. . I feel na malaki ang magbabago sa country natin once maipass na ito. . Signature nalang naman ni Pinoy ang natitira e dba?. .

    • dragon27

      Not yet. Walang pang batas na naipapasa ang kongreso. People still need to lobby with Congress.

  • Horst Manure

    Whistle blowers will give you information if they know they will be protected and it won’t be like USSA were blowers are seen as traitors and liars who have no value to society plus The Fed’s turn on them by snooping and issue false info just to get revenge.

  • Karabukov

    “Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III moved to suspend consideration of the bill to await more inquiries from the lawmakers.”

    Sitting on it is so much easier. It’s called paralysis by analysis.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QKHIE3TMZOV3NENGG4C2RZ73QE Carlo

    Gift talaga ito sir Cayetano. After maipasa ito, di na magiging pareho yung system ng pinas……ever! 

  • tvnatinto

    this is more worthy of your time, please focus on this instead

  • Karabukov

    “In the House of Representatives, some representatives suggested that the people’s right to information be conditioned on a so-called right-of-reply —which would bill media for equal space should any criticism against politicians, among others, be published or aired.”

    Insisting on the unconstitutional ”right-of-reply” to be tacked onto the FOI bill is nothing short of political blackmail by our esteemed truth-fearing senators.

    Pass the FOI bill first. It is nothing but giving the people the right to know what they are entitled to know.

    THE RIGHT OF REPLY IS A TOTALLY SEPARATE ISSUE.

    • disqusted0fu

      absolutely! now this is the kind of bill that should be certified urgent and be passed immediately! this will eliminate propaganda and cover ups. mr. president, be true to your word for once and certify this bill urgent so it will be passed immediately as promised!

  • Marx Louis Wang

    Freedom of Info? Ano pa ba ang gusto niyo? Di na kayo nasiyahan sa pagbloblog dito sa PDI maski na puro kapalpakan kadalasan ang pinagsasabi.

    • boypalaban

      ikaw ang gusto namin…manahimik ka na…

    • Isha Carandang

      True! dapat kasi bago gumawa ng article pag aralan ng mabuti! :)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VOIMRXSRHLDTXGHVZEJH5YR6ZM Alvin

    Pwede! I hope ipasa na agad ito at unahin nila para ma apply na agad ito. Actually, siguro pag meron na ito then mapapabilis lahat ng kaso involving officials. Not sure but ganun siguro. 

  • Chestosterone

    Oh anyare kay tito sotto? Hahaha.

    • Isha Carandang

      Sayo? anong nangyare? tsk tsk daming utak talangka!

  • disqus_F7NxgCOapC

    Itong mga EPAL na Tongresmen natin, takot na takot sa FOI Bill, samantalang ang information na kailangan nang taong bayan ay karamihan ay mula sa pamahalaan at kayo ang may gawa, kung tama ang ginagawa ninyo ano ang dapat ninyong ikatakot?

  • Cerise David

    You already have a captive audience in mainstream media.  Ano pang right of reply ang gusto nyo?

    “that there are certain information that must be kept confidential especially that which may compromise the nation’s security, jeopardize negotiations or diplomatic relations with other nations, and intrude privacy or endanger the life and safety of an individual.” – Classified information is already covered in detail in separate existing laws. You don’t have to fear lack of guidelines or implementing rules when it crosses that territory.  FOI would deal with declassified information.

  • boypalaban

    “I ask all of our colleagues to help in passing this bill. This will be
    our best Christmas gift to our people, a freedom of information act,”
    Cayetano said. 

    salamat cayetano…pero sa utol mo…di bale na…

    • Isha Carandang

      Pag aralan muna ng mabuti! hindi yung pasa ng pasa ng batas pag naging palpak magsisisihan nanaman!

  • Isha Carandang

    Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III moved to suspend consideration of the bill to await more inquiries from the lawmakers.
    You are right Sen. Sotto para kapag ano ang napagpasyahan walang sisihan mas mabuting pag aralan munang mabuti bago gumawa ng action. (,”)

    • Karabukov

      Since it is long past the time needed to exhaust all inquiries and deliberations on this very important bill and as Senator Sotto, or you, has not given any credible reason to “suspend consideration” of the bill the only purpose of these moves is to delay the passage of this bill or even kill it altogether.

      C. Northcote Parkinson was right when he said

      “DELAY IS THE DEADLIEST FORM OF DENIAL.”

      Admit it Ms. Carandang, Senator Sotto just wants to kill this bill and you are saying “I’m all for that”. It is them vs. the people and you are part of “them.”

  • tapagirl

    Gusto ko talaga ang FOI !  ! Sana maimplement na soon! ! Salamat kina Legarda at iba pang senador na nagtratrabaho para maipasa ang bill na yan ! ! :D

  • angel33jennifer

    Yeah i also wish that it’ll be approved soon, kailangan ng taong bayan ng transparency from our government!

  • RogerZmorals

    mabuti at nagtitulungan ang mga senador na maipasa ang foi bill para maibalik ang tiwala ng pilipino sa kanila . . . ayos !..

  • perfectshauna

    Tignan mo tong si sotto nato!! Kung walang tinatago yan hindi aalma yan eh!!! hay sotto sa bulagaan ka na lang oh!!!

  • jasonthetable

    I admire senator legarda and cayetano! ;) maigi pa sila ok sa foi bill not like sotto.. maybe he’s hiding something… something in his beard… 

  • disqusted0fu

    the most important person to back this bill for its passage is the one who promised to do so during his campaign for presidency. and now that he is already the president, he should be true to his word. but why is his mouth shut when it comes to this and instead focuses his attention to the RH bill? could be another diversion



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