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Sotto dares Palace: Certify information bill as urgent

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02:29 PM January 4th, 2013

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January 4th, 2013 02:29 PM
Senate Majority Floor Leader Vicente Sotto III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Senate  Majority Leader  Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Thursday dared Malacañang to certify the  freedom of information  (FOI) bill as  urgent so Congress may act on it before  it adjourns  in February.

Congress will resume its sessions on January  21 and will adjourn on February  8 to pave  way for the upcoming midterm elections in May.

“If (President Benigno Aquino III does not certify it), obvious na ayaw ng Malacañang,” Sotto said.

If Malacañang  had certified  the passage of the reproductive health bill as urgent even if the country was divided  on the issue, then Sotto  wondered why  the FOI bill  could not be certified even if the majority of people are demanding  for it.

The bill has already been approved in the Senate  but remains pending  in the House of Representatives.

Unlike Sotto,  Senator Gringo Honasan, chairman of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, said he would  just leave it up to Malacañang to decide whether or not to issue  a certification  on the  FOI bill.

“I”ll just leave it to the better judgment of  Malacañang,” Honasan said in a phone interview.

But it would be “sad,” he said, if the House  will not  be able to pass the  measure before the February adjournment of both  chambers.

Honasan explained that if the  bill  would not be approved this 14th  Congress, the  new  Congress in June  this year  would have to start deliberations on it from the very beginning

“This will be the second time that it has happened,” he pointed out.

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