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Duterte ready to launch FOI law; vows to stop media killings

/ 03:30 PM July 03, 2016
President Rodrigo Duterte. AP FILE PHOTO

President Rodrigo Duterte. AP FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte is set to issue an executive order (EO) that would implement the proposed Freedom of Information (FOI) law.

A Palace official on Sunday said that the new administration will issue an executive order to implement FOI.

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Former President Benigno Aquino III made the FOI a priority legislation during his term but failed to pass in Congress, despite urgent calls from various sectors.

READ: Duterte vows to implement FOI through executive order

In an interview over state-run radio dzRB, Presidential Communications Office Secretary Martin Andanar said that the Palace is already preparing a draft of the said EO.

“This week po abangan niyo po ang aming draft po at sana—hinahabol po namin ang draft po ng executive order para po sa Freedom of Information at i-a-anunsyo po namin iyan,” Andanar said.

(Watch out for our draft this week—we are preparing the draft of the executive order for the Freedom of Information and we will announce it.)

The issuance of the said EO is the realization of Duterte’s commitment to impose the right to information which he made months before he assumed office.

READ: Duterte to prioritize FOI bill

“Kung ayaw ng Congress, I will start progressively, para walang satsat, yakyak. (If Congress does not want to pass it, I will start progressively so that we don’t talk too much),” Duterte said last May.

Despite the President’s icy relationship with the media,  Andanar said that the Palace is preparing the draft of an administrative order (AO) which will put up a task force against journalist killings.

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“Abangan niyo po dahil meron na po kaming idina-draft ni Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, ito po ay may kinalaman sa presidential task force against media killings,” he said.

(Watch out for our draft being prepared by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.It has something to do with the presidential task force against media killings.)

“Isa po iyon at isa rin po sa ginagawa natin para po ay mapanatag po ang loob ng ating mga kasamahan sa media at matigil na po itong pamamaslang, itong extrajudicial killings sa mga miyembro po ng media ay ‘yung presidential task force against media killings,” he added.

(We are doing this presidential task force against media killings so our media people will be at peace and the extrajudicial killings will be stopped.)

Duterte has boycotted the media since early June after international press group Reporters Without Borders asked its Filipino counterparts to shun covering the President because of his remark that some journalists deserve to die because they are corrupt.

Since then, all official pronouncements were coursed through state-owned television PTV4. Foreign and local media, except PTV4, were not allowed to cover the President’s inauguration at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang.

Both issuances are expected to be released within this week or next week, Andanar said. RAM/rga

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TAGS: administrative order, AO, EO, executive order, FOI, Freedom of Information, Media killings, President Rodrigo Duterte
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