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Not the end of it FRONTLINE Ninez Cacho-Olivares 06/06/2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Not the end of it

Ninez Cacho-Olivares
The Freedom of Information (FoI) bill wasn’t expected to pass muster, for a great many reasons, part of which is the fact that neither the Malacañang tenants, past, present and future, nor the public officials would want the media poking their noses on official and therefore public documents — including their income tax returns.

Besides, even if that measure was passed, no doubt there would be some other implementing rules imposed, just as the implementing rules on the senior citizens’ exemption from the eVAT are taking forever.

Even if it was passed, the reality is that not every Tom, Dick, Harry or their female counterparts would be able to simply get hold of any public document — even under an (FoI) act. A lot of red tape would still have to be involved.

Then too, if government contracts are made public, one can be sure that not all of the items in the contract will be made public, such as supplements, amendments and annexes — most of which are much more important than the contract itself.

Take the case of the Comelec-Smartmatic contract. While it was made public at the start, not even the members of Congress were privy to the amendments made in that contract with Smartmatic, nor was it known that in the contract it is stated that the poll body can keep the automated machines just for 10 days after the polls close. Yet these machines that went very wrong during the elections and their transmissions are definitely evidence with which the protesting candidates can use in their complaints.

The point is, with or without an FoI, it won’t be a breeze for public and official documents to be obtained by just anyone — especially the nosy media..... MORE    

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/commentary/20100606com2.html


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