Evardone denies derailing passage of FOI bill


Posted at Nov 14 2012 12:18 PM | Updated as of Nov 14 2012 08:18 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Public Information, denied allegations he delayed the hearing on the freedom of information (FOI) bill.

Evardone said he only scheduled the discussion of three other bills before the FOI bill to finally get them out of the way.

He noted there are a total of 17 bills regarding the FOI bill, which they had to consolidate.

“I think that's very unfair, I only put in the agenda four items...the three items ahead of the FOI were minor...because these are less controversial,” he said.

He said he will make sure that the FOI bill will be the main agenda on November 27. He said he wants to allot enough time for a healthy debate.

"I will try to put to a vote whether we will include the right of reply provision in the FOI...if they vote yes, we will adapt, if they reject it, we will not include it." The right of reply provision has been a bone of contention in the passage of the bill. - ANC