MANILA -- Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano challenged President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Thursday to prove his anti-corruption stance by certifying the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill urgent.

Cayetano said Aquino should make the FOI bill the first bill that he certifies urgent to show he is serious about running a transparent government.

He believes the President is sincere about his "Tuwid na Landas" (straight path) policy, but that the slogan has to be matched with action.

“To ensure success of 'tuwid na daan,' we need this,” he said.

Cayetano, who tried to get the FOI bill passed in the 14th Congress, said having the bill certified could be the first step in upholding the right to information.

Bills certified as urgent are given priority by Congress. "Usually, pumapasa eh."

He added even without an FOI law, Aquino could issue and executive order for government agencies to open their records to public scrutiny.

Cayetano argued that if the Arroyo administration "had a policy of not being transparent", the new Aquino administration should show that it really is different.

"There is a policy of transparency but does it trickle down (to the line agencies)?" he asked. (Jonathan de Santos/Sunnex)