Palace mum on request for Kaliwa Dam documents
Despite its earlier pronouncement that it is promoting transparency in government, Malacañang has avoided a categorical response to the request of some groups for documents on the China-funded Kaliwa Dam project.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday declined to say if the government would grant the freedom of information request made by groups opposed to the dam’s construction in Quezon province using loans from China.
“I will leave it to the executive secretary [Salvador Medialdea] since the [groups’] letter is addressed to him. I will not preempt his response,” Panelo said at a press briefing.
Earlier this week, Malacañang said it was open to disclosing infrastructure deals with Chinese companies to promote transparency in the bureaucracy.
“Well, why not? That’s pursuant to transparency,” Panelo said in a previous press briefing about the recent trip of Philippine officials to Beijing to discuss further infrastructure cooperation with China.
Senatorial candidate Chel Diokno, lead counsel of groups opposed to the dam’s construction, said the request for access to official documents related to the project was meant to check if there were “onerous provisions” in the agreement with China. —JULIE M. AURELIO
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