Elected Philippines President Plans to Issue FOI Order

12 May 2016

The man just elected to be president of the Philippines says he will immediately issue an executive order of freedom of information, according to reports in The Standard and The Inquirer.

The presumptive president, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, said at a May 10 press conference that if Congress refuses to pass a FOI bill, then his first act once he assumes office June 30 will be to issue an Executive Order on the FOI.

Rappler quotes him as saying:

Kung ayaw ng Congress I will start progressively. Para walang satsat, walang yakyak, day one, basta pataas na, huwag na pabalik kasi magulo yan (If Congress refuses to pass such a law, I will start on it progressively). Let’s cut to the chase. From day one, although this will not be retroactive since ordering so will create a very chaotic situation. FOI, I will impose it on my department, executive department,” he told reporters on May 10, as he led the partial, unofficial presidential count of the Commission on Elections.

Other report quote him as saying:

“Unahan ko na (FOI). I will issue an executive order. All. Hindi na kailangan ng batas (no need for a law).”

A spokesman for the current administration responded with a statement saying, “In fact, the substance of the FOI Bill is already being implemented for a time now under the Aquino administration even without a law or an EO,” according to The Manila Bulletin.

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