Casiño snubs anti-corruption conference; says its hypocrisy without FOI law

PARTYLIST representative and anti-corruption advocate Teddy Casiño is not attending the international parliamentarian’s conference against corruption which opened yesterday “because with Congress’ failure to pass the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill, I will just feel like a hypocrite in that place.”

Yesterday, Evardone threw in the towel and is now “waving the white flag,” saying there is simply not enough time left to pass the long-pending measure. Evardone made the statement Wednesday night as he noted that debates on the measure had not even begun.

“It’s ironic for the President to deliver the keynote speech in the 5th Global Organizations of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC), when it was his administration that has killed the FOI bill. It is also ironic that the Senate is hosting the conference when it is embroiled in a corruption scandal. I don’t want to be part of that charade,” said Casiño.

“I am disgusted at the way the FOI bill has been killed by the Presidents men in Congress. Rep. Ben Evardone’s throwing in the towel is just the last nail on the coffin that was designed and built by the President himself, whose refusal to certify the bill or even include it in his priority measures spelled its doom. Of course I am still hoping for a miracle but it seems there is no resurrection in sight. The FOI is comatose but our struggle for greater transparency and accountability lives on,’ he said.

“I have been raring to interpellate and engage on debates in the plenary regarding the FOI but without Pres. Aquino’s stamp of urgency, it is in limbo. We want to point out in the plenary that Malacanang’s FOI version is so limited that transparency and accountability is restricted, illustrated by the many exemptions that covers corrupt practices, human rights violations and policy making,” he added.

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