‘Kill (FOI) Bill’ again and again-A A +A
Thursday, September 6, 2012
“YOU know, freedom of information seems so good and noble but at the same time...here in this country there’s the tendency of getting information not really utilized for the proper purposes.”
The president made that statement on Sept. 29, 2011 when asked by businessmen if he'd include the freedom of information (FOI) bill among his legislative priorities.
He didn't explain how access to information would be used improperly. House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II was more specific.
Last Sept. 3, he said information in the hands of "haosiao or illegitimate" media would be dangerous. If "unscrupulous press" would attack public officials with scanty data, how much more with solid dossier?
Groups like "Right Information, Right Now!" see another version of "Kill Bill," the 2003-2004 two-part Quentin Tarantino action film.
Comparison of the bill's fate in 14th Congress and its "impending doom" in the current Congress may be exaggerated though.
Cause of death in the 14th Congress was "lack of quorum," a lame excuse, and now, coming from those who control the House, they plead lack of votes.
It's not like in the movie where massacre and reprisal were open and bloody.
And no mayhem is needed to get a bill killed. No gunplay, just the "marching order" from the president.
But PNoy and legislators may just keep putting the FOI bill in limbo. They can't admit to reneging on an election promise or openly disavow transparency, which is vital to an honest government.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 07, 2012.