CBCP presses for FOI bill passage



CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action chairman Bishop Broderick Pabillo: Pass the FOI bill INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) is urging Congress to pass the freedom of information (FOI) bill before it goes on recess for the election campaign period even without the certification of urgency from President Aquino.

In a statement, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP National Secretariat for Social Action, also warned that candidates under Aquino’s Liberal Party-led coalition might lose their credibility if the FOI bill remained merely as a “pipe dream” for the Filipinos.

“In calling for the FOI to become a law, we are asking for nothing else than to fulfill the mandate of our constitution. If citizens do not fulfill the law they are penalized.  But if lawmakers do not fulfill the highest law of the land, what is to be done to them?”

He reminded politicians vying for elective posts in the forthcoming May 13 midterm balloting that they would lack integrity if they were to run on a platform of good governance, accountability and transparency without acting on the passage of the FOI bill in Congress.

“Once again, the President and his candidates under his Liberal Party-led coalition will aspire to seek a fresh mandate, emphasizing that his coalition symbolizes good governance, accountability and transparency,” said Pabillo.

“But this assertion would indeed lack credibility if the FOI bill will remain a pipe dream for us Filipinos,” he said.

The Senate has already passed its own version of the bill. Meanwhile, the House will have to act soon if it wants to pass the measure on third and final reading. It will adjourn on Feb. 12 to give way for the campaign period.

“There is something very wrong when a proposed legislation that will do right to the people does not get the determined support of government leaders who are sworn to protect the people’s interest,” said the prelate.

“The social action arm of the Catholic Church, the CBCP-Nassa takes special interest in the fate that will befall the FOI bill in the 15th Congress. More than a general right, there is a strong justice aspect in FOI,” he added.

Pabillo said the lack of access to public information only made the marginalized sectors—particularly the farmers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples, workers and rural and urban poor—more vulnerable to exploitation and manipulation by “bad elements” in the society.

Ignorance of government processes, contracts and services, combined with the lack of formal education, will spawn deprivation of rights and poverty, according to the CBCP.

“Our people then become mere objects of government policies rather than active participants in their own development,” said the prelate, joining advocates of the bill in pressuring Congress to pass the measure.

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  • rodben

    Don’t vote those candidates holding the passage of this law THEY REAL CORRUPT.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VUFRGRCCA5JXOLKEVCJQ3FBW3Y Concerned Citizen

    Thank you CBCP.  

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4XVVCOAZXYTPN2X3IPFCFDSKFM Melvin

    Isama na kaya ang simbahan sa branches ng government… Ang hilig nilang makisawsaw. Pagbuthin na lang sana nila ang kanilang debosyon sa pangangaral para marami ang hindi maligaw ng landas at ng sa gayon ay marami ang makapasok sa pinto ng kaharian ng Diyos… Pero ang totoo niyan yung ibang pari ang naliligaw ng landas. Sabagay ayon sa banal na kasulatan, walang malinis. Wala. At dahil ayaw nilang gumamit ng condom dahil bawal ang contraceptives ayon sa kanila kaya nagkakaanak sila. Tanong ko lang, Saan kaya sila kumukuha ng pangsustento sa kanilang mga anak?

  • Commentator

    Pass the FOI bill.

  • aristeosj

    The common people all over the world have always been  
    mere objects of any policy that is to be implemented by 
    the powers that be.even if the people are opposed to it,
    they can hardly do anything because their pleas are not 
    heard and do not play a major role in plotting their own
    development.we are just pawns in all this power game. 

  • superpilipinas

    FOI bill will uncover the real stinking faces of those corrupt clowns.

    They clowns up there have fooled the Filipino people by using the controversial RH to delay FOI.

    Next time they will use other controversial bills like Divorce and Same Sex marriage to further delay FOI.

    Filipinos especially the uneducated and poor believe those clowns? Without FOI those clowns suck billions of dollars that could have been used for poor people.

  • Bayang_magiliw

    CBCP, the new branch of goverment of the Republic of the Philippines.

  • cute79

    Pass the FOI and STOP THE PORK BARREL!!

  • regd

    Goodness me, this CBCP move will potentially make the FOI go into oblivion! We want this bill so bad but they are torpedoing it! Don’t they learn any lesson from the RH bill?

  • 444mangyan888

    Bishop, are you being a politician..??
    I am a catholic, and i am telling u now, if u want to express your personal opinion on political matters, go..!!!
    But if you will be saying things as my bishop, then i may want to remind you that you are violating the constitutional provision on separation of church and state…!!!!
    Can some lawyers please hail my bishop to court….???
    This is really sickening…!!!!!

  • disqusted0fu

    It’s not just the Liberal Party who will lose their credibility but the whole Aquino administration if this bill is not passed. Supporting the bills passage was a promise by Pnoy in his 2010 campaign. But now he appears to be ignoring it and possibly even killing it.

    They are darned if they do and darned if they don’t. If they don’t then they have fooled people in that promise that he made three years ago. Plus it must mean that there are things they are trying to hide. If they do, they are also darned since the things that they are trying to hide will be exposed.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/VS5EYSP4FPOTVQCJZ24NRE6Z2M Edgardo Mendoza


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