Medialdea: OK to release Kaliwa Dam docus if covered by FOI
MANILA, Philippines – Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said Malacañang would “abide” by the Freedom of Information (FOI) rules after some groups have requested for the release of documents on the China-funded Kaliwa Dam project.
Lawyer and opposition senatorial candidate Chel Diokno and groups opposed to the Kaliwa Dam project have sent letters to Medialdea and Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddyboy Locsin, requesting official documents on the project, invoking the FOI.
Diokno said the request for the official documents was meant to check if there were “onerous provisions” in the agreement with China.
Sought for comment, Medialdea said that if a document would conform to existing FOI rules, then government would release it.
“This administration early on has made it clear that it will be transparent. We will abide by the FOI rules in place. I don’t think it is a matter of discretion if the document is covered by the FOI and the procedure is followed,” he said in a text message in a text message on Thursday.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday refused to comment on the request, saying it was up to Medialdea to answer the request.
The Kaliwa Dam project in Tanay, Rizal is facing opposition from environmental groups and local officials, saying it would displace Indigenous Peoples and will have an adverse effect on the environment.
The project, funded through a loan from China, will cost $248 million or P12.2 billion to complete. /muf