Manila, Philippines – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma said President Benigno S. Aquino III continues to support the Freedom of Information (FoI) Bill.
Coloma gave the assurance during the budget hearing on Thursday of the PCOO at the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives.
At the hearing, Akbayan party-list Rep. Walden Bello asked the PCOO secretary on the President’s stand with regards to the FoI bill that has been stuck at the House Committee on Public Information.
“We want to clarify, once and for all, what President Aquino’s stand is on FoI. It has been stuck in the committee for the better part of the 15th Congress, and legislators are getting the message that it may not be a priority of the administration after all,” he said.
Coloma assured the Akbayan party-list solon that the President is for the FoI, adding that it is not the Chief Executive’s character to declare support for a proposal if he does not mean it.
He clarified that Aquino’s silence on the measure must not be misinterpreted to mean that FoI is not a priority, but is in fact only the President’s respect for the separation of powers and the independence of the legislative as a co-equal branch of government. (PNA)