House panel exempts military operations from FOI
MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives public information committee on Monday exempted all military operations or law enforcement operations from the freedom of information (FOI) bill.
This after the panel rejected Alliance of Concerned Teachers Representative Antonio Tinio’s move to amend the provision that exempts disclosure of information that would compromise or interfere with any legitimate military operations.
Tinio said the bill’s other provisions already grant this exemption.
The militant lawmaker moved to amend the provision to pertain only to “ongoing military operations” and not any military operations.
But Tinio’s move was rejected by the panel in a vote of 5-3.
The provision exempting the disclosure of information that would “unduly compromise or interfere with any legitimate military or law enforcement operation” is then approved for inclusion in the bill.
The FOI bill, which ensures transparency and accountability in government transactions and data, continues to languish in the lower chamber even as the Senate has approved its version.
As of press time, the FOI is still in the committee level for consolidation of its different versions. The committee is stuck in Section 7 that details exemptions of as much as 25 sections of the bill.
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