THERE is no gag order or curtailing of access to information in Capitol, according to Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III.
Davide was referring to Provincial Administrator Mark Tolentino’s memorandum, dated Nov. 12, to all Capitol officials, department heads and employees, reminding them that they will face disciplinary action if they release public documents and information without a written request stating the reason for asking for the documents and a written approval of the department head concerned.
Davide explained that they are just avoiding some groups who wish to put the Provincial Government in a bad light.
“Contrary to the fears of many, it was not a gag order or something, prohibiting the public access to information, as we have always been transparent,” he told reporters yesterday.
He said that Tolentino’s memorandum was not to prohibit anyone, but to remind them to observe protocol, like all other offices.
“Karon man gud dunay unscrupulous persons who want to destroy us. We don’t know their motivations,” Davide said.
The governor said that journalists who have been covering Capitol from the start of his administration know how liberal they are in giving information to the media.
“Uban gani manan-aw lang mo diri. (Some of you even look at the documents on my table). You have access to my documents here. In fact, I volunteer (giving documents) sometimes. Here have some,” he said.
Davide did not see why an office function should be treated as a big issue against him.
Tolentino issued a memorandum to all officials, department heads and employees last week on “giving of information and access to official records, including the furnishing of copies thereof.”
The memorandum stated that every request for information must have a written request, must have clearance from the department head concerned, and must be reported to the governor for his information.