24 June 2013

[FYI in Interaksyon.com / TV5] Robredo widow vows to champion FOI bill

by Lira Dalangin-Fernandez, 24 June 2013
From http://www.interaksyon.com/article/64766/robredo-widow-vows-to-champion-foi-bill.

Image from Interaksyon.com
MANILA, Philippines -- Neophyte congresswoman Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo promised to champion the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill when it makes a comeback in the 16th Congress.

"I believe that the FOI bill should be passed," adding that the Malacanang-backed version filed in the last Congress was already a good bill.

A month before the opening of the new Congress, advocates led by the FOI Youth Initiative and the Right to Know, Right Now Coalition called for support for the bill to ensure it is passed. The groups also asked President Benigno Aquino III to certify it as urgent to fast-track its approval.

"We affirm that our right to information enshrined in the Constitution must be institutionalized through the FOI Law to guarantee that transparency among public officials and employees becomes a norm and not simply a discretion of individuals bound by their terms of office," FYI said in a statement.

"We urge President Benigno S. Aquino III to go beyond a mere declaration of support for the passage of the FOI Bill by certifying it as urgent in fulfillment of his promise of change to the people," it added.

The group said the bill must be passed without the right of reply provision, which it said would change the essence of the proposed law.

Robredo, widow of Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, said she believes Malacanang will give its full backing for the bill.

"I think we want the same thing, I don't think Malacanang will put a hindrance to initiatives toward transparency," she said.

Meanwhile, Robredo said she has submitted a request to the House Secretary General to allow her to hold office at the office of outgoing Deputy Speaker and Quezon Representative Lorenzo Tanada III.

"I hope they will let me have the room for my office ... It's just gut feel, and after all, Erin (Tanada) and I have the same advocacies," she added.

Robredo is one of the 65 neophyte lawmakers in the chamber.

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