Palace leaves FOI to Congress

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2012 07:33 PM | Updated as of Oct 11 2012 04:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - It is up to Congress to determine the timeline for the passage of the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act, the Palace said Wednesday.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said he and Budget Secretary Butch Abad have spoken to House Committee on Public Information chair Ben Evardone "to allow the hearing on the FOI to continue." 
"Let's wait and see for the FOI. Well, we would like to see first the committee hearings on the FOI. We don't know yet what's going to happen," he said.

"It's budget season right now so I think the priority of the House is the budget. And we leave it with the House leaders to decide on the course or the schedule of the FOI bill," Lacierda said.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma earlier said President Benigno Aquino will not issue marching orders for his congressmen-allies to approve the FOI bill.

“The President recognizes that Congress is a co-equal body. It is my observation that he is very circumspect in wielding a significant influence on a co-equal body,” Coloma told the House appropriations committee in a recent hearing.