Editorial: Finally, some light-A A +A
Friday, September 20, 2013
COMMITTEE chair of the Senate Committee on Public Information, Senator Grace Poe, in the ongoing hearing for the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill, said the committee report will be completed by Monday, September 23 and sponsorship in the plenary will be on Wednesday, September 25.
For all its nauseous details, this scam involving private person Janet Napoles, who is accused of siphoning off government funds by the millions through elected officials who can allocate these but cannot actually get hold of them, this has placed a spotlight on the plunder being maneuvered by those in power. It has also made people realize the avarice of those in power, and are thus more cynical if not leery of anyone who refuses to be transparent.
This is the best time, indeed to push for the FOI. But the work doesn’t end there.
We know too well how legislators are still trying their very best to pretend they are clean by putting the blame and the crime on journalists. For one, the way they are pushing for Right to Reply Bill, apparently as a last ditch effort to save their already tainted reputations. Shoot the messenger that is what evildoers would love to do because they can thwart attention and focus these on the normally poor reporters who will never have the resources they have at their disposal.
There will always be the threat of insertions as well. We all know how the Cybercrime Law became the monster that it is by the insertion of one Senator of the penal provisions for libel, making this a degree higher than what is in the Revised Penal Code, even as the real call is to decriminalize libel.
With so much that can be plundered in the shadows of government bureaucracy, those who have lusted for these will not easily allow the hoi polloi, the ordinary folks, the tao to yank this source of money from their reach. No way. Thus, expect the insertions, be wary of insertions, and it helps that the media in Manila who can watch in person the proceedings are truly watching.
Let us, as one, expose all the shenanigans of those in public service and hold them accountable for all their misdoings. The billions of pesos cannot be denied, they should own up to what the audit report has pointed out.
Out here, we can continue to focus on how the FOI Bill is being deliberated, and regularly gather to ensure that the rage against the corrupt will not simmer down and die.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 21, 2013.