Aquino lukewarm to freedom of info bill


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.

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  • Patrick

    The only reason someone would be against FOI bill is if they have something to hide.

    • cute79

      lahat sila may tinatago kaya ayaw sa FOI .kapag ito pumasa para na rin sila nagbigti

  • Garo Ungaro

    The best legacy in PNoy administration is his willingness to uphold, what is right in his crusade “Daan Matuwid”  His vigor in helping the RH Bill to be come the law of the land is so fitting…But the most important LEGACY that he can give to the Filipino People before, He steps down. is this FOI Bill…this is the cornerstone of why we are in deep trouble as a nation…The divided/confuse realities in the good governance that behind the TRUTH remains the REAL TRUTH…by working on this FOI Bill the Filipino Citizenry will truelly, understand what is going with the government. The clear transparency…of any issues.The politician is in check not to abuse onwhat is authorized of them as elected public officials….CORRUPTION is in check?….by this transparencies of the FOI Bill..Yes, partly You, maybe a victim of this…But in the long term its for the benefit of the Filipino Nation as a whole…Its about time to change that messy status quo……Do it… Mr. President for the Filipino People not for the few Politicians/Government TRAPOS…..

    • Usi Sero

      He might actually push for passage in 2015 to take effect in 2016…that will be fine with me…it will be a deterrent for the next batch of public servants…got to start at some point.

  • KappaPhiPhi

    sana he should not have not promised passing this foi during the presidential campaign. and hindi na rin sana proudly mouthed of no new taxes. parang dobol katay. he has to bribe the solons to pass new taxes. all at our expense.

  • Usi Sero

    These bunch of overpaid congressmen and senators will NOT tackle FOI bill…para bang sinabi mo…eto ang lubid, magbigti kayo.

    All the extended breaks they have plus other days they are not in the House for personal reasons should be enough as bonus to them. Numerous times they can’t vote on a bill because there’s no quorum.

    • superpilipinas


  • Socorro

    Dogs are better than Pinoy when it comes to loyalty to his “boss” There is one thing clear, Pinoy only used this to generate more votes but like GMA he has no intention of keeping with his promise. If GMA is corrupt Pinoy is a big Liar naman. Whom are we going to believe now? 

  • ern

    Why do you need an FOI law in the first place? The constitution guarantees freedom. Why not look at existing laws that go against it?…. repeal or amendment is all that is necessary.

    Bishops and the church officialdom have no credibility left because of their bias on the RH bill. Many things has been said and now what? All they want is to get even, never mind the good…all they want is to prove the govt decisions are wrong.

    Mitsubishops shut up!…. Let others do the talking.

    • Usi Sero

      Same thing…who will amend it? They will not amend things that will be disadvantageous to them.

    • superpilipinas

      he-he-he. answer your first question first, then you will understand.

      your hatred for bishop is clouding your logic.

      go find out what is FOI. he-he-he.

    • Bantay

      isa kang kurap at magnanakaw ng pera sa taongbayan! kaya ayaw mo ng FOI bill.dapat sa iyo tatalian ng yellow ribbon sa leeg dadaan sa tuwad na daan patungo sa bangin!!!

  • agustin

    The rampant graft and corruption within this present regime,FOI bill will not be passed.

  • $17531445

    Lukewarm? –  that’s an over statement about the caloric content of the president’s enthusiasm which doesn’t even come close to being tepidly warm.

  • Ommm

    PNoy is showing his true colors by not backing this bill gung ho. We can’t have “good governance”  without access to the facts…. starting to presume the war on corruption was all a smokescreen for vengeance and not much is about to change…. 

  • superpilipinas

    People loved to have a condom law first, that’s why!

    They loved it so much that it was to be passed first before FOI.

    It’s not only a corrupt government, it’s a corrupt country.

    They passed Sin Tax Law to generate billions.

    They passed RH Law to spend billions.

    They will not pass FOI since the stealing from those billions will be uncovered.

    I can predict that legalization of Divorce, Abortion, and Marijuana can pass first before FOI. That’s how corrupted it is.

    FOI is a law in countries where people are sensible.

  • 56del_11

    hindi nila talaga gustong maipasa ang FOI bill kasi nga naman hindi na sila makapagpapasasa sa kaban ng bayan

  • superpilipinas

    Aquino just approved 147 Billion Pesos project. But without FOI law and no transparency, how many billion will end up in a few people’s pockets?


  • Peter L

    Not only lukewarm, he is cold about it. True colors?? Very fast in removing a chief justice but very slow in implementing justice? Vengeance, yes?

  • Janch

    Grrrr…. Bastos.

    I hope people will grill national electoral candidates about their position on the FOI bill.  If the bill isn’t passed, make it an election issue.

  • Palku Kha

    puro lang talaga propaganda ang administrasyon na to! ang lakas pa ng loob mag sabi na patungo tayo sa tuwid na daan daw…nasaan na ang transparency at good governance na lagi nyong sinasabi?hoy! kung tunay kayong nag serbisyo sa taongbayan,ipasa na ang FOI bill!!! puro  wento wala naman wenta!!!

  • XY ZEE

    The trend for this administration’s agenda of suppressing the truth is clear as day.
    Not only does this government deny information to be used for accountability by delaying the FOI.
    Moreover, by pushing for the Cybercrime law, it wants to curtail the public’s right to free speech.
    The truth is that when it comes to the truth, accountability,and transparency and the people’s access to these, this government is all sweet talk but in reality, woefully lacking in action.  

  • zeroko

    hE HE HE! Lumabas ang Chinese character ni PNoy. Kunwa, daang matuwid, yuon pala, far from it. Ayaw ni PNoy malaman ng mga Mamamyan kung gaano ka corrupt ang gobyerno. Kunwa, papunta punta pa siya sa Seminaryo para pagisipan niyang mabuti kung tatakbo siya bilang presidente, yuon pala, the whole process is fake!

    Alam ni PNoy na babagsak ang administration niya kung malalaman ng tao ang buong katutuhanan kung paano pinatatakbo ng mga Oligarch o mayayaman at makapangyarihang mga tao kulad ng mga Cabinet Secretaries niya, ang Legislative Branch, both Senate and Congress, he he. 

    Alam ni PNoy na ang taning dandata ng mga Pilipino ay ang “Freedom of Information” upang malaman ang KATUTUHANAN dito sa corruption na nangyayari. Tandaan ninyo, ang mga elective officials nating inilukluk noon pang May 2010 and priour years are the same alligators o buaya na palipat-lipat ng partido. Kung baga “same dog with a different collar.” 

    Paano hindi ko sasbihin na FAKE ang daang matuwid ni PNoy, e, uulitin ko uli. Bakit nag withdraw ng 2.3 billion pesos, at biglaan po ito, galing sa Department of Agriculture which was suppose to be use for “Farm to Market” road, it was withdrawn so fast, with the participation of the head of DBM, o Department of Budget and Management, and suddenly disappeared? Yuon pong head ng DA ay nagkakamot ng ulo dahil pati siya, nabigla.

    Ngayon, hindi po ba ninyo nahahalata ang style ng mga Congressman na nagkakandarapa upang pirmahan ang IMPEACHMENT ni CJ Corona KAHIT NA HINDI PA NABABASA NG MGA TONG-GRESSMAN ang position paper o dahilan kung bakit ma-ie-impeach si dating CJ Corona? Reading the position paper is vital to know the justification of the impeachment. But no sir, they did not read it. All they did is claw each other to sign the impeachment because there is a reward. He he he. If not, then where did the 2.5 billion pesos funds for farm to market road . went?

    Nakita ninyo? After the news of sudden withdrawal of the 2.3 billion pesos news got on the press and T.V., nothing is heard of it anymore. Now, with Freedom of INformation, we, being a citizen of this republic can now open the documents to ascertain just where did those funds went!

    And this is precisely the reason why PNoy is “likeworm” in signing the bill. He does not wanat the citizen to know the extent of corruption in the government. Take the case of the millions if not billions of pesos on rice smuggling………. he he he. Hugas kamay ang Spokesperson ng National Food Authority. Hindi raw alam ng NFA kung bakit ginamit ang permit to import rice. He he he. E, ang lagay, trabaho po nila yan……. There is a bids and awards committee who will check if those cooperatives are qualified to import. Tignan po ninyo ang nangyari, the financial status of these cooperatives are just a couple of thousands. In fact, halos naghihingalo ang pera nila dahil kadalasan ay wala. Their office are generally closed. No one is interested among the members. 

    Paano ngayon. The value of the smuggled rice runs in to billions! He he he. Ang ibig sabihin po nito ay ginamit ng mga smugglers na malapit sa Malacanyang, all of them Chinese, and use these documents to legalize their smuggling of rice. HE he he. Magaling talaga ang mga Chinese sa palusot. Besides, bakit sa Legaspi pa ibababa ang rice galing sa Vietnam? Doble po ang layo ng lakbay ng Barko from Vietnam to Legaspi pier instead of just off loading the rice in Pier 2. O, nakita ninyo ang milagro. At hindi po ito mangyayari kung walang basbas ang Malacanyang. Bakit? Paano po, si PNoy ay full blooded Chinese. Ang mga Cabinet Secretaries niya ay full blooded Chinese din! Kahit na si Mar Roxas ng DILG ay akan ng mga Aranetas at full blooded Chinese din. 

    He he he. Take it from there. Masakit na ang daliri ko sa kakakalkal.He he he! Joke joke lang, walang pikunan. 

    Kaya, mga kababayan ko, huag po kayo maniniwala sa daang matuwid, Chinese style. Huag po kayong maniniwala sa mga talumpati ni PNoy dahil binabasa lang po niya ito sa dalawang LCD tuwing siya ay magtatalumpati. Kaya, tuwing magtatalumpati si PNoy, kung hindi sa kaliwa, sa kanan pu nakatingin dahil scripted po ang talumpati niya. Puro pambobola. Ano ang kwenta ng 5% increase ng GDP natin, eh, hindi po naman napapakinabangan ng mga mahihirap. Puro Chinese na lang ang nakikinabangon. 

    Tignan po ninyo ang pagmimina. Di ba puro Chinese ang investors. Huag po kayo maniniwala na ibang dayuhan ang nagmamay ari. Puro Chinese po iyan. O, sa halip na umangat ang bili ng Bangko Sentral ng ginto galing sa mina, he he he 1.5% na lang po ang nabibili nila. Paano, dinadaya na po tayo. Ang Chinese syndicate ang bumibili lahat ng ginto at na-iismuggle po papunta sa China. Ano ang pakinabang ng mga Pilipino? WALA!

    Hay naku po.Santa Banana! Luging lugi po tayo sa ginawang bill ng ating Filipino-Chinese. Ang minana po natin ay LASON. Mercury, Sulfore Dioxide, Lead, at Arsenic. Nasira rin ang ating kagubatan. Nariyan ang displacement of our indigenous people from their ancestral land. Ano pa? Marami po sa mga Indigenous people ang binabaril na lamang parang daga ng ating mga military. Kunwa, sila ay NPA. Todas! Ang sa tutuo, naggiging instrument of oppression po ang military at PNP kung mining po ang paguusapan. They are protecting the interest of the Chinese mining investors instead of protecting the RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE. Heh eheh .

    O, sayang ang sahod at billiong gastos sa ating mambabatas. Luma at hindi po tugma na tawagin nating People’s Representative ang mga Congressman natin, karamihan ay Chinese. They are just interested for their personal advantage. O, do I have to say more?.

  • mekeni62

    only the corrupt would fear the FOI bill.

  • Tristanism

    Pass the FOI Bill. Shut up, bishop.

  • Ron

    What’s keeping the President from signing the FOI Bill into law? Wise up, Pnoy!

  • GlenMJacob

    To PNoy,

    Please certify the FOI bill as urgent and you know how to use the “stick and carrot” for congress to pass the bill. Please sign the bill before the election.

    Your boss,

    The Filipinos

  • Al Calde

    The president is on a long straight road, walking slowly like an old man!
    Was he true on his campaign agenda?

    Have we forgotten where Pnoy came from? From conquanco’s of Tarlac… A TRAPO!

    The coquancos came to power through CRONYISM! and tarlac has been one of the poorest place in the country!

    Daang matuwid, TRULY A LIP SERVICE

  • Pogi=”No To Political Dynasty”

    Same banana, walang pinagkaiba kay Marcos. Mas masahol pa ngayon lahat buwaya sa mga nakaupo sa gobyerno care of the Aquinos & Cojuancos. Ginamit lang si Ninoy.

  • Your_King

    Who are we kidding? Aquino is lukewarm to basically all the issues facing the nation except for GMA in which he is hot on that. Problems in the country get lost and things that need to be resolved get neglected because his focus is all on GMA. It sounds repetitive to bring up Aquino’s disdain for GMA but then again Aquino is repetitive with all his blaming against GMA. FOI is no concern for him.Typhoon ‘Pablo’ victims are no concern for him. And just recently, it was somewhat revealed that ‘jueteng’ is apparently no concern for him as well.

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