FOI Bill in jeopardy as House fails to muster quorum again

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From l-r: Makabayan bloc Reps. Luz Ilagan, Neri Colmenares, Teddy Casino, Antonio Tinio, Rafael Mariano, Emmi de Jesus, Raymond Palatino withdraw support for FOI Bill. Casino withdraws coauthorship. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — After mustering a quorum for the first time last Monday, the House of Representatives once again failed Tuesday to tackle the Freedom of Information Bill.

This time session was suspended abruptly at past 5 p.m. without roll call.

Cibac Representative Sherwin Tugna, a co-author of the bill, said he suspected that there was no quorum and said in jest “sa bahay ko na lang yata babasahin ang sponsorship speech ko (it looks like I would read my sponsorship speech at home) .”

He was supposed to deliver his sponsorship speech for the FOI Bill Monday but only two speeches on the measure pushed through.

“According to the floor leader, if no quorum, no discussion of RH will take place,” said FOI Bill co-author Akbayan Representative Walden Bello.

But the measure’s principal author Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III was keeping his hopes up for the bill’s fate, saying that there was still a possibility of the FOI Bill passing during the 15th Congress.

“What if the President certifies it as urgent?” he asked.

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Tags: Freedom of Information bill , Government Transparency , Media , Nation , News , press freedom

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