Quantcast
Latest Stories
BISHOP’S LAMENT

Aquino lukewarm to freedom of info bill

By

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—With only nine session days left before Congress breaks for the election campaign period, groups demanding more transparency in government on Friday made one final push for the passage of the freedom of information (FOI) bill in the 15th Congress.

With a number of administration allies behind him, Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo urged President Aquino to “make a difference by certifying the urgency of the FOI bill.”

Pabillo recalled that Mr. Aquino had promised to push for the FOI bill during the presidential campaign in 2010, but had supposedly been sending “mixed signals” since he assumed office.

“It took him awhile to endorse amendments to address a number of concerns on the bill that he has raised, but that endorsement has not carried with it the same stamp of urgency that has characterized other measures that he has supported vigorously,” he said in a statement.

“Even now, with few session days left in the 15th Congress when his certification can truly make a difference, he has refused to give the FOI bill the prioritization that it needs.”

Pabillo joined congressmen and other FOI bill advocates in a last-minute gathering to pressure the House of Representatives to pass the measure on third and final reading during the remaining nine session days.

 

Congress to adjourn for polls

The Senate has already passed its own version, which is now awaiting its House counterpart. Congress will resume session on Monday, but will adjourn on Feb. 12 to give way for the campaign period.

Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, a member of the President’s Liberal Party, described the remaining session days as a “100-meter dash” for the FOI bill. Going by experience, he said the measure could not be passed without the support of the House leadership.

“With our collective political will, we can pass the FOI bill in the remaining nine session days before we adjourn for the elections,” seven House members said in a statement read by Deputy Speaker Erin Tañada.

“A stumbling block,” they said on the passage of the FOI bill, were “the fears expressed by some of our colleagues of possible abuse by the media and citizens of the right of information that the Constitution expressly guarantees they are entitled to in the first place.”

“We urge our colleagues to overcome their personal apprehensions, in favor of the public interest (and) values embodied in the FOI bill: a stronger democracy, better governance, economic development and responsive programs and services,” they added.

The statement was also signed by Representatives Edcel Lagman, Walden Bello, Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales, Emmeline Aglipay, Sherwin Tugna, and Baguilat.

A certification by the President would mean that the House could pass the FOI bill on second and third readings on the same day. Rep. Ben Evardone, public information committee chairman, is yet to formally deliver his sponsorship speech on the floor.

Certification independence

But the Right to Know, Right Now! Coalition said the bill need not be dependent on the certification. Citing the House rules, the group said the chamber’s committee on rules, “through the majority leader, is empowered to declare a bill urgent to facilitate its immediate passage.”

“We challenge the members of the House of Representatives who continue to resist the passage of the FOI bill, to cast their personal fears aside and take a stand for FOI. We exhort Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. to be a leader and rally his colleagues to pass the FOI bill now,” according to the group’s manifesto, which was signed by 104 FOI advocates.


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: 15th Congress of the Philippines , Aquino administratin , Benigno Aquino III , Bishop Broderick Pabillo , election campaign , FOI Bill , Freedom of Information bill , President Aquino




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. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  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. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
Advertisement

News

  • 4 Etihad passengers not yet located
  • DAR to complete installation of Luisita land reform beneficiaries in May
  • Ex-COA chief and co-accused in Arroyo plunder case nabbed
  • Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  • The ‘link diagram’ that killed ex-Bataan police officer
  • Sports

  • NLEX holds off Jumbo Plastic for a playoff berth
  • Pacquiao can dodge tax issues
  • F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone rejects bribery charges
  • Big Chill freezes Cafe France to arrest skid
  • Pacquiao has to go through PBA Rookie draft
  • Lifestyle

  • Summer Mayhem: The ultimate beach experience
  • A haven for steak lovers
  • Gongs and southern dances star in a workshop at San Francisco Bayanihan Center
  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • Entertainment

  • Smithsonian wants photos, videos for ‘Day in the Life of Asian Pacific Americans’
  • What Garcia Marquez left behind
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Business

  • Metro Pacific acquires stake in Victorias
  • How ‘one percent’ economic elite was uncovered
  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Technology

  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • Tiff with HK over Luneta hostage fiasco finally over
  • DOLE sees more Filipinos hired by South Koreans
  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • Obama to visit Filipino soldiers in Fort Bonifacio
  • Fil-Am youth conferences unite under one theme
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement