11 July 2013

[FYI and DLSU TAPAT in the Inquirer] Pro-FOI solons hope to use ‘charm’ to pass bill

MANILA, Philippines — “Youth and experience” combined with “charm and “convincing power” have made Diwa Partylist Representative Emmeline Aglipay a top nominee for the chairmanship of the committee on public information at the House of Representatives.

The nomination was endorsed by authors of the contentious Freedom of Information Bill who in a manifesto to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte cited Aglipay’s good track record as a public servant, her “charm and convincing power” as a lady legislator and belief that she can push the measure’s approval in the House.

Cibac Partylist Representative Sherwin Tugna, one of the proponents of the bill in the 15th Congress, said that “most of the previous primary authors of the FOI bill endorsed Congresswoman Em Aglipay to be the chairman of the committee on public information”.

“We have signed a manifesto expressing that we are nominating her and requesting the Speaker to consider her and for her to be eventually be voted upon by the House to be Chairman,” he said.

Lawmakers supporting the FOI Bill sent the letter to Belmonte on Tuesday but the group has yet to set a meeting with the House leader.

Aglipay also received the support of the FOI Youth Initiative (FYI), a group which has been active in lobbying for the FOI measure in the 15th Congress.

“We in the FYI believe that she represents the new brand of leadership that we need in Congress—one that is empowered by youth and experience,” the group said.

“As Chairperson of the Committee on Public Information, we are certain that Rep. Aglipay, with her strong commitment to transparency and accountability, will be at the forefront of the passage of important measures that are consistent with the agenda of this government,” it added.

Aglipay was an alumna of Alyansang Tapat sa Lasallista (Tapat), one of FYI’s partner organizations.

The Diwa partylist lawmaker told INQUIRER.net that she was “honored by the endorsement of FYI as the Chairperson of the Committee on Public Information.”

“I shall be committed to promoting accountability and transparency regardless of who the choice for Chairperson would finally be,” she said.

She also said that she was endorsed by Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr., Dinagat Representative Kaka Bag-ao, Akbayan Partylist Representatives Walden Bello and Barry Gutierrez, Pasig Representative Roman Romulo, Tugna and Ang Nars Partylist Representative Leah Paquiz.

The FOI bill is expected to be taken up anew when the 16th Congress opens this July.

It reached the plenary in the 15th Congress but was not deliberated on.

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