Aquino on freedom of information bill: It might be misused
MANILA, Philippines – President Benigno Aquino III said Thursday night his government was not yet ready to support any existing version of the Freedom of Information Bill because there were people who ask for information but do not use it for the proper purposes.
In the course of explaining the continued absence of his administration’s support for the Freedom of Information Bill pending in Congress, Mr. Aquino warned of the possibility of widespread panic caused by little information used improperly.
“A freedom of information act sounds so good and noble but at the same time, first of all, you’ll notice that here in this country there’s a tendency of getting information and not really utilizing it for the proper purposes,” the President said during an open forum at a gathering of Southeast Asian business leaders.
“There are so many people who will always look at the bottle half empty, or, sometimes, the half empty bottle even becomes a quarter,” he added.
He said some of the county’s newspapers also present their opinion fact.
“[Let] us have our people completely informed as mandated by the Constitution but at the same time make sure thatidea of little knowledge becomes of a lot of danger doesn’t happen in our country. That is the debate as to where to draw the line. We have a working group talking to all the stakeholders, trying to come up with that law that everybody can live with and comply with,” Mr. Aquino said.
“And if I may add just one last point, all you have to do is read our newspapers every day and I think you will agree that nobody can state a fact exactly the same in all of these newspapers. An opinion commenting on a fact is okay, but an opinion masquerading as a fact does not do anyone any good,” he added.
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