Media rights’ group doubts Palace’s version of FOI bill

ANTIPOLO City, Feb. 5, 2012—Media rights’ organization, Burgos Media Center, expressed doubts on the motives of Malacañang in transmitting its own version of the Freedom of Information bill, last February 03.

BMC spokesperson Marc Joseph Alejo said, the Palace’s version of the FOI bill is relatively weak and he doubts what particular sector of the society that the said legislation is “serving.”

The media rights advocate criticized the particular provision of the bill which exempts bilateral agreements between the Republic of the Philippines and other countries to public scrutiny.

“The Filipino people have the right to know about the transactions the government is making with foreign entities. The Palace is again taking the best interest of the Filipino for granted,” Alejo said.

The timeliness of the release and transmission the Malacañang-designed FOI bill is also dubious, said the BMC spokersperson.

“This is a publicity stunt to conceal the fact that the bill is nowhere in Palace’s of House’s list of priority measures,” he said.

The BMC, meanwhile said, that there is no need for another version of the bill since there are 13 versions at the Congress, with Bayan Muna’s version deemed to be the “strongest” and has “more teeth” than the others.

“House Bill 133 by Representatives Teddy Casino and Neri Colmenares still remains the strongest version of the FOI. In fact, other versions are stronger than what the Palace released,” Alejo said. [Noel Sales Barcelona/CBCPNews]