Quantcast
Latest Stories

Sotto dares Aquino to certify FOI bill

By

Senator Vicente Sotto III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Friday dared President Aquino to certify the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill as urgent just like what he did for the highly contentious Reproductive Health bill which was recently enacted into law.

Sen. Francis Escudero, a close ally of President Aquino, expressed optimism that Mr. Aquino would do so when the FOI measure reaches the plenary in the House of Representatives.

“In the case of the RH bill, half of the country was opposing it. With the FOI, almost the entire country wants it,” Sotto said in a text message.

Sotto cited the urgency of the passage of the FOI bill since the House of Representatives only has nine session days left to approve the measure before Congress goes on recess for the election period.

While the Senate has already approved its version of the FOI bill—the People’s Ownership of Government Information or Pogi Bill—on third and final reading before the Christmas break, the transparency measure has yet to reach the House plenary.

“[They] have only nine days and it’s not yet even in the plenary as I understand. Certifying it will send a signal to the House of Representatives that he wants it passed,” Sotto said.

Asked whether he was calling on the President to certify the FOI bill in the House as urgent, Sotto said, “Yes, because our countrymen are clamoring for it.”

Escudero, chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said the President might just be waiting for the proper timing to certify the FOI bill as urgent.

“It would definitely help but Malacañang can only do that after it has been reported out to the plenary. Certification signifies that the Palace is behind the measure and carries a lot of political weight,” Escudero told the Inquirer in a text message.

FOI proponents in the House have expressed concern that floor deliberations on the FOI could be derailed by absenteeism since many lawmakers would already be in their respective districts to prepare for their election campaigns.

The FOI bill passed the House committee on public information before the Christmas break but it has yet to be reported out in the House plenary.

Asked if he would call on the President to certify the bill as urgent, Escudero said, “I believe he will. Perhaps, [he’s] just awaiting the version that will reach the plenary.”

In December, Sen. Gregorio Honasan, chair of the Senate committee on public information and sponsor of the People’s Ownership of Government Information, already called on the House to prioritize its version of the FOI bill and suggested that President Aquino certify the transparency measure as urgent.

“I want to inhibit myself from commenting on the dynamics of the bigger house… but having said that I think they should develop a sense of priority not only from the House but from the executive department,” Honasan said in a phone interview after the Senate passed the Pogi bill, the Senate version of the FOI.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: FOI Bill , Francis Escudero , Freedom of Information bill , Reproductive Health Bill , Tito Sotto , Vicente Sotto III




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Mixed feelings for Gabriel Garcia Marquez in hometown
  • Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement