Prioritize FOI bill over Charter change, House told

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Bishop Broderick Pabillo fields questions from the media during a press conference.

MANILA, March 12, 2014— A Catholic bishop said the need to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill is crucial before any talks of Charter change.

Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo said that how can the House of Representatives be trusted to revise the Constitution when they can’t even legislate an anti-corruption measure.

“If they can’t fulfill it (FOI passage), Congress can’t be trusted to tinker with the Constitution,” said Pabillo, chairman of the CBCP’s Public Affairs Committee.

The prelate was reacting to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte’s statement that he would focus on Charter change than in pushing for the FOI bill.

The official, however, assured that the transparency and anti-corruption measure would be passed under his term.

The Senate this week passed on third and final reading its version of the FOI bill.

According to Pabillo, the ball is now in the Lower House to show their sincerity in promoting transparency and fighting anomalous transactions in the government.

“If they are really serious in the fight against corruption, they will pass the FOI at the Lower House,” he said. (CBCPNews)

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