9 top Senate bets ‘reliable’ on FOI bill

MANILA, Philippines – Which among the top 20 senatorial bets holds a track record that can back their claims of support for the freedom of information (FOI) bill?

FactCheck 2013, an initiative of the Political Democracy and Reforms (PODER) Program of the Ateneo de Manila University – School of Government, looked beyond the pronouncements of the candidates who led the April 1 survey of the Social Weather Stations. It checked their records.

The group found that 9 out of the top 20 senatorial candidates either co-authored or co-sponsored the bill. They are Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV, Gringo Honasan, Migz Zubiri, Richard Gordon, Risa Hontiveros, Sonny Angara, and JV Ejercito

Four other candidates — Chiz Escudero, Koko Pimentel, Jack Enrile and Mitos Magsaysay — also voted in favor of or showed formal support for the bill. 

“These candidates, therefore have shown, one way or another, through concrete actions but in varying degree, their support for the FOI, which signals that their support for FOI in the 16th Congress can be more reliable,” FactCheck 2013 said.  

However, 7 candidates were found to have no records of support or actions providing evidence that they truly support the FOI measure. 

They are Nancy Binay, Cynthia Villar, Bam Aquino, Grace Poe, Ramon Magsaysay, Ernesto Maceda, and Margarita “Tingting” Cojuangco. 

“It is the burden of these candidates to prove that their support for the FOI is not a mere lip service,” FactCheck 2013 said. 

FactCheck 2013 will release more data on other electoral issues in the coming weeks. – Rappler.com

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