Betrayal of democracy

NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES (NUJP)

Statement

The Filipino people should remember well the leadership of the House of Representatives of the 14th Congress who betrayed their mandate and democracy by killing the Freedom of Information bill.

The travesty in the House session hall on June 4, 2010 was clear proof that outgoing Speaker Prospero Nograles had never had any intention of ensuring the ratification of the measure that would give reality to the constitutionally guaranteed right of the people to information of public interest.

The only conclusion one can draw about the badly scripted drama that Nograles and his accomplices – Majority Leader Arthud Defensor and Camiguin Representative Pedro Romualdo – acted out is that, even in his last moments as Speaker, the political expediency that characterized the outgoing administration continued to trump our long suffering people’s hopes for good governance and an end to corruption .

But Romualdo was right on one score – we will never forget this betrayal and will make sure neither will the people.

Let this nevertheless be a challenge to the incoming administration, which has promised to govern along the principles of good governance.

On the very first day you take over the reins of government, send an unequivocal signal to the 15th Congress to make the speedy passage of the freedom of information bill its first priority.

Anything less than this will signal that we are in for another six years of lip service and empty platitudes.

We will be watching.

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