Editorial: With a grain of salt-A A +A
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
TO take something with a grain of salt means to accept whatever it is with skepticism. That is what we have been doing about statements by politicians, from congressmen up to the President with regards the Freedom of Information Bill.
The other day, Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr., one of the authors of the FOI bill, said it will need “something short of a miracle” for the House of Representatives to pass this given the time left before they go on recess.
Suddenly, the Latin term “sine die” rings out from a not so long ago memory, when the Congress was adjourned sine die while a gaggle of congressmen were insisting that it shouldn’t be so because the FOI bill still has to be approved.
It was a dramatic show of ayes and nays, but at hindsight, that was all it was: drama.
Now, Rep. Baguilat says he regrets not pushing harder for the bill. Sad. Wash hands.
As the Sunnex news about it read: “Baguilat said that although President Aquino has ‘always been supportive’ of the pro-transparency measure, the House of Representatives failed to get the backing that it had during the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona, and the proposals on reproductive health (RH) and sin tax measures.”
Joining the wailing and gnashing of teeth is Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list Representative Sherwin Tugna who said that even at the very last moment President Benigno Simon C. Aquino III finally marks the bill as urgent, time has run out.
Sad. Wash hands. Now, they will soon be saying, please vote for us, for another term. Promise, FOI will be among the first to be filed.
The Filipinos, gullible as they are, will give the congressmen another term, believe that government is really doing its best to tread the “daang matuwid”, while the crooks work in the dark where Freedom of Information is denied.
As the Sunnex report further described it, Congress is also having difficulty bringing in the warm bodies to tackle the FOI.
“The FOI bill was supposed to be sponsored in the plenary Tuesday but due to lack of warm bodies on the floor, a parochial concern of Davao del Sur Representative Marc Douglas Cagas prevailed over discussions on the FOI bill,” the report said.
Like a broken record or a pirated music CD, we say, we are not surprised.
This happened three years ago and will be repeated three years hence and every three years hereafter for as long as the people do not rise up as one and demand this one constitutionally guaranteed freedom that we are continuously being denied.
While we are all at it, we should deny all those who have done nothing but give non-committal standard answers or pass the buck as congressmen and senators have always been doing when it comes to FOI.
Think, now Senators are even saying the funds they are fighting over cannot be audited. Still we hold them in high regard and vote for them; as they enrich themselves in the dark, safe because what has been constitutionally guaranteed remains to be denied.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 30, 2013.